After being swept on the road by the Alberta Pandas, the University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team heads back on the road in need of a spark against the Winnipeg Wesmen on Jan. 22-23. The Vikes are just outside the pack in the Canada West Pioneer Division in seventh at 5-7, while the Wesmen are below the Vikes in ninth place at 2-8.
It was a weekend to forget for the Vikes on Jan. 15-16, dropping both games to Alberta 77-55 and 99-60, respectively. The Vikes shot 4-for-21 in the second half and were outscored 30-12 in the third quarter. Fourth-year forward Jenna Bugiardini was one of the lone bright spots for the Vikes, notching 16 points in each contest.
“It was a case of Alberta playing tough defence against us and we didn’t respond well to the pressure,” commented Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair on her team’s struggles against the Pandas. “We invited pressure and didn’t play aggressively. They took full advantage of us with their great shooters and strong defence.”
Bugiardini’s performance this past weekend pushed her streak of games with double-digit points to 10. The leading point-scorer for the Vikes is one of the core group of Vikes veterans that play the bulk of minutes for the team, including fourth years Jenna Krug and Nicole Karstein.
The Wesmen earned themselves a big 80-72 win against the Brandon Bobcats on Jan. 9, snapping an eight-game losing streak that stretches back to Nov. 7 against the Calgary Dinos. Fourth-year guard Megan Noonan put in a solid performance with 33 points in the victory, and is one of the top players in the CIS in terms of average points-per-game with 16.5.
The push to the end of the season for the Vikes includes crucial matchups with the UBC Thunderbirds and the Brandon Bobcats at the CARSA Performance Gym. Both teams sit just above the Vikes in the standings in fifth and sixth-place, respectively.
“Winning some confidence back heading into this final stretch of games is incredibly important,” added Sinclair. “We need a good team mindset and to stop worrying about our record because we get into trouble when we lose focus. Winnipeg will be a good, hard test the for girls and will be a good chance for us to rebound from this past week in Alberta.”
The weekend’s games tip off on Jan. 22 at 4:00 p.m. and Jan. 23 at 2:00 p.m. at the Duckworth Centre in Winnipeg, Man. All games are streamed live with pay-per-view stats online at uvic.canadawest.tv. Free live stats are available at canadawest.org.