Braedan Willis, Vikes Communications

[ONLINE STORY ]

After suffering a 35-point defeat at the hands of the Regina Cougars last night, the University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team captured a dramatic win on Jan.5 at the CARSA Performance Gym to salvage a weekend series split.

Down one point with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game, Victoria forced a turnover in their own end to give themselves once last chance to win the game. Ontario native Katie Langdon drove to the net and dropped a basket in with no time left on the clock to claim the victory for the Vikes by a final score of 70-69.

“It was a rollercoaster of a game,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. “We had a couple tough possessions after being up by six late but the girls came through and showed a lot of heart tonight. It is important for us to play in close, competitive games like this before heading into the playoffs.”

Despite the loss, the Cougars still sit near the top of the Canada West standings with a record of 9-3. Winnipeg native Kyanna Giles scored a game-high 22 points for Regina.

“We can’t put ourselves in a position where we can lose because the other team makes one play,” commented Regina head coach Dave Taylor. “We jumped on them early and then we let up.”

The Cougars started right where they left off last night jumping out to an early 11-1 lead over the Vikes. Victoria slowly chipped away at Regina’s lead through the remainder of the opening frame. Three consecutive turnovers by the visitors turned into six points for the Vikes. Calli McMillan dropped an easy lay up for two while Amira Giannattasio and Langdon converted on each of their two free throw attempts. The Cougars carried a slim 23-22 lead heading into the second and were lead by Giles with six points.

Giannattasio found her grove in the second quarter dropping 10 points for her squad including two three pointers. After opening the game with a 23-point quarter, Regina managed on eight points in the second. Victoria headed to the locker room at half time up 40-31 on the Cougars.

“Amira got going tonight, which we fully expected,” added Taylor. “We thought it was going to be easy after going up 11-1 to start but you could see that Dani (Sinclair) challenged them coming into this game and it showed.”

With three minutes to go in the third quarter the Vikes had been able to maintain their lead, up 48-40. However, two quick baskets and a three made by second-year Macaela Crone pulled the Cougars back to within one. The third concluded with a missed three by McMillan and the Vikes clinging to a 52-51 lead.

Giles tied the game up at 65 with less than three minutes remaining and shortly after second-year Angela Bongomin dropped two more to give the Cougars the 67-65 lead. McMillan hit her first three point shot of the game at the 1:30 mark of the fourth to restore the Vikes one point advantage but Regina answered backed quickly to once again take back the lead. With the game clock counting down and the scoreboard reading 69-68 in favour of Regina, Langdon drove to the net and dropped in her shot to secure the Vikes victory in the last moment of the game.

Victoria will remain at home and host the Fraser Valley Cascades next weekend on Jan.11-12. The Cougars will welcome the UBC Okanagan Heat to Regina for a two game weekend series starting on Jan.11. All games can be watched live on at https://cw.yaretv.com.

SCORING SUMMARY
1          2          3          4:         F
VIC:      22        18        12       18:       70
REG:    23         8         20        18:       69

SCORING LEADERS

VIC: Amira Giannattasio (24), Katie Langdon (17), Ashlyn Day (10)
REG: Kyanna Giles (22), Macaela Crone (15), Angela Bongomin (9)