The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team lost 75-62 to the UNBC Timberwolves in their first pre-season game of the season as part of the Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament at the CARSA Performance Gym on Sept. 28. Despite the loss, the Vikes were able to get looks at their entire bench including several new faces.
UNBC fourth year Maria Mongomo was a force to reckon with tonight as the six-foot-10 forward put up 23 points, had seven steals and nine rebounds. Third-year Madison Landry had 21 points, while Vasiliki Louka had 18 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
“This team is not an unknown to us,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair, frustrated with how her team handled Louka and Mongomo. “We have played against 13 and 12 for the last three years and we let them do exactly what they wanted to do. We played with no energy and it was a pretty disappointing effort.”
The Vikes were unable to find much-scoring rhythm as Giannattasio led the way with 21 points and outside of it was Ashlyn Day with 11 points and Katie Langdon with nine. Langdon also had 10 rebounds as the home side was held to shooting just 34 per cent from the field
Just two players carried UNBC through the opening half. Mongomo and Louka, both in the Top 5 of Canada West scoring last season, put up 17 and 10 points, respectively as the Vikes led 39-34 at half time. Vikes Giannattasio and Ashlyn Day each added nine points as the Vikes out-scored the Timberwolves 19-13 in the second to take the first-half lead.
After a lull of scoring the Vikes found some energy thanks to back-to-back threes from Giannattasio mid-way through the third quarter to tie the game at 46. That momentum shift allowed Gallagher to find an open lane to Ashlyn Day low in the key and her made free throws lifted the Vikes back ahead, 48- 46. Day was able to get a big block under the Vikes hoop and the transition allowed Giannattasio to drop another trey and lift the Vikes up by five at 51-46.
Timberwolves guard Madison Landry made two from the line, and 10 in the third quarter, to again tie the game at 53-53 heading into the final stretch. The Timberwolves out-shot the Vikes 19-14 in the third.
UNBC’s Julia Gallant put in a three to start the fourth quarter and the Timberwolves took a 62-55 lead until Giannattasio hit a three to cut UNBC’s lead to four, up 62-58 with 5:28 on the clock. Louka’s six-foot-three status continued to give the Vikes trouble down low.
In the final minutes, Vikes guard Aleah Ashlee went coast-to-coast through three Timberwolves defenders with less than two minutes on the clock but it was too little, too late. Turnovers continued to plague the Vikes, while the lethal UNBC trio of Mongomo, Landry and Louka protected their lead right the way to a 75-62 victory.
“No matter what time of the year it is we aren’t playing like a team and that shows at both ends of the floor,” added Sinclair. “You can live with that offensively at this time of the year because it takes a long time for your offence to get going. I don’t see a reason why even in the first game out why we shouldn’t be ready to go at the defensive end. We aren’t playing for each other. We are playing for ourselves.
Up next the Vikes will host UNBC tomorrow, Sept. 30, at 3:00 PM. The Vikes men play at 7:00 p.m. against Ryerson, while Manitoba will play Saskatchewan at 5:00 p.m. All games are broadcast live by pay-per-view at canadawest.tv and live stats can be found at canadawest.org.
1 2 3 4: F
UNBC: 21 13 19 22: 75
UVIC: 20 19 14 9: 62
2018 Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament
September 27, 2018
6:00 p.m. – Ryerson (86) vs. Manitoba (71)
8:00 p.m. – Victoria (85) vs. Saskatchewan (73)
September 28, 2018
4:00 p.m. – Ryerson (77) vs. Saskatchewan (66)
6:00 p.m. – Victoria (70) vs. Manitoba (80)
8:00 p.m. – Victoria women (62) vs. UNBC (75)
September 29, 2018
3:00 p.m. – Victoria women vs. UNBC
5:00 p.m. – Manitoba vs. Saskatchewan
7:00 p.m. – Victoria men vs. Ryerson