Vikes withstand push from Pandas, open Canada West tournament with win
The UVic Vikes jumped out to an early lead and were able to weather some late pressure to defeat the Alberta Pandas 73-67 at the CARSA Performance Gym on October 27.
"I'm proud of our girls and the way that they battled back to make some big plays at the end of the game to win it," said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair.
Fifth-year forward Jenna Bugiardini led all scorers with 21 points in the game. Bugiardini was also a force to be reckoned with on the glass, she pulled down 11 rebounds to record a double-double. Amira Giannattasio and Nicole Karstein scored 16 and 11 points respectively.
The Vikes came out of the gates hot in the first half. They shot 66 per cent in the second quarter while playing some high pressure defence en route to a 12 point lead at the break.
"When we move the ball like that and play with that kind of intensity and aggressiveness we can be tough to play against. We need to be able to put that together for 40 minutes," said Sinclair.
The script was flipped for the third quarter. The Pandas defence stepped up and it was their turn for shots to start falling. Alberta outscored the Vikes 20-9 in the quarter to battle their way back into the game.
"I thought we were a bit passive to start the second half and they are a very good team," said Sinclair.
"It took them a bit to get their legs underneath them but they play with a lot of confidence and we let them take the momentum back to start the second half."
It was a close contest throughout the fourth quarter. The Pandas took their first lead of the game with just one minute left to go, but a clutch bucket from fifth-year Vike Jenna Krug allowed UVic to escape with the win.
UVic is back in action tomorrow, October 28, for a game against the reigning national champion Saskatchewan Huskies.
Tip off between the Vikes and Huskies is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at the CARSA Performance Gym.
AB: 8-21-20-18: 67
UVIC: 14-27-9-23: 73
UVIC: J. Bugiardini (21), A. Giannattasio (16), N. Karstein (11)
AB: E. Kary (15), E. Hendershot (12), S. Kumar (10)