In the last regular season home game of 2015, the University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team suffered their second-straight loss to the Calgary Dinos. The Dinos defeated the Vikes 84-72 to improve to a 5-1 record, while the Vikes drop to 1-5 in the Canada West.
The Vikes had an impressive performance from first-year guard Avery Snider, who was the highest scoring Vike with 21 points. Also posting double digits for the home team were fourth-year guards Jenna Bugiardini and Nicole Karstein, logging 16 and 15 points, respectively. The Vikes were without the strengths of second-year guard Kristy Gallagher, who was out with a late injury.
“I thought Avery played with some guts tonight,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair of the rookie’s double-digit performance after replacing Gallagher on the starting lineup tonight.. “I will praise her for her aggressiveness at the offensive end. We are playing tentatively and she, right to the end of the game and as a first year, has the confidence to take those shots and she wants the ball in her hands.”
Fifth-year senior Claire Colborne was without a doubt the standout player on the court, as she dominated the floor with an impressive double-double of 28 points and 17 rebounds. Fellow fifth years Vanessa Wesolowski and Kristie Shiels added 12 and 11 points, respectively, while second-year Dino Anmol Mattu also contributed 11 points to the scoreboard.
In the first frame, Calgary’s Emma Nieuwenhuizen followed her three-point shooting momentum from the previous game to open up the scoring for Calgary. The Vikes did not allow the visitors to keep the lead for long as Karstein battled well under the hoops to put up nine points in the first quarter to keep the Vikes ahead for most of the quarter. Calgary trailed closely and a buzzer-beating trey gave Calgary the 23-21 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Although the Dinos were able to increase their lead to as much as six points early on in the second quarter, a nine point run by the trio of Snider, Amira Giannattasio and Karstein pushed the Vikes ahead by three points. The Dinos managed to slow the Vikes run and a late foul by Victoria allowed the visitors to shorten their trailing margin to just one point going into the half time. The Vikes lead 38-37 at the break.
The Dinos came out with pace in the third quarter to go on to a seven-point run early on while the Vikes were unable to put up any points for the first half of the quarter. Snider turned the momentum around after she posted five straight points. The Vikes got the job done to play catch up as both teams were neck-in-neck with a 51-51 score line. Calgary’s Mattu dropped a three-pointer just before the end of the third quarter to give the Dinos a 54-51 lead.
In the final frame, the Dinos used their offensive energy to extend their lead to seven points early on. The Vikes chipped away bringing the margin down to three points but the Calgary trio of Colborne, Wesolowski and Nieuwenhuizen displayed their offensive prowess to give the Dinos their largest lead of the game, ahead of the Vikes by 12 points with just two minutes remaining in the game. With the Vikes trailing by double digits, the home team was unable to post enough points to get within range, allowing the Dinos to take the game 84-72.
“We can’t give up 80 plus points a game and that’s what it comes down to,” added Sinclair of the now 1-5 Vikes. “For the last four games when the game has been close at the end and we need to get stops we just don’t. That’s a hump we have to get over and we have to know it’s a long season and we do have a young team. We will have time to work on these things and we can’t hang our heads. We have to become tougher and that’s a large part of what defence is.”
Up next the Vikes will wrap up their Canada West Regular season for 2015 with two road games at Lethbridge, Nov. 27-28, while the Dinos will visit the UBC Thunderbirds in Vancouver. All games are streamed live at canadawest.tv.
SCORING BY QUARTER
CGY: 23-17-17-30: 84
UVIC: 21-14-13-21: 72