Braden Willis, University of Victoria

The University of Victoria Vikes were defeated by the Calgary Dinos by a score of 91-61 on Saturday night in the Jack Simpson Gym in a rematch of their first-round playoff series from last March.

The game was characterized by efficient scoring from the Dinos, who took control early in the first quarter and never looked back. It was Calgary’s 50.7 per cent field goal shooting and ability to force poor shots for the Vikes that sealed the win, holding Canada West’s third-ranked offense to just 35.1 per cent shooting.

The Vikes were led by Calli McMillan, who finished the game with 12 points and five assists, and Ashlyn Day, who concluded with 12 points and a pair of steals. The Calgary defence was able to effectively neutralize Victoria’s offensive leader, Amira Giannattasio, holding her to just five points on the evening.

“I thought Calgary dictated the pace of the game and was able to control the game,” said Victoria head coach Dani Sinclair. “They made a lot of steals and were able to control the game from start to finish, and we gave into that pretty early on. We had some pushes here and there but never really inserted ourselves in any way, so it was a pretty disappointing effort but a lot of credit to Calgary for being able to kind of get us out of our game.”

The game opened with immediate offensive confidence from the Dinos. Liene Stalidzane and Erin McIntosh made an impact early, each putting up five points in the opening minutes. Despite first half struggles from the free-throw line and from beyond the arc, ending the half with a 21.4 per cent three-point percentage and a 25 per cent free-throw percentage, the Dinos managed to secure a lead with their dominant performance inside the paint.

The key performer for the Dinos in the first half was forward Kiki Knox, who had 10 points for Calgary after two quarters. The Vikes had a hard time shutting down Knox’s powerful inside presence.

The second half continued to fall in favour of the Dinos as they not only finished at the rim but also continued their hard-nosed, physical defense against Victoria. Calgary’s lead never changed in the second half and the Dinos fought their way to a decisive 30 point win.

“Particularly in the first half we looked a little bit out of sync,” explained Dinos Head Coach Damian Jennings, “but I am certainly happy with how we held them score-wise.”

The Dinos finished the game with four different players eclipsing 10 points. Erin McIntosh, Kiki Knox, Sascha Lichtenwald and Liene Stalidzane led the team with 17, 16, 16, and 14 points respectively.

The two teams will square off again Sunday afternoon in the Jack Simpson Gym, with tip-off at 1 p.m. MT / noon PT on CanadaWest.tv.

SCORING SUMMARY
1          2          3          4:         F
CGY:    22        18        29       22:      61
VIC:      11        13       18       19:       91

SCORING LEADERS
CGY: Erin McIntosh (17), Sascha Lichtenwald (16), Liene Stalidzane (16)
VIC:  Calli McMillan (12), Ashlyn Day (12), Haily Weaver (10)

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