Cameron Doherty, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA – The UVic Vikes women's basketball team clawed back from an early 14-point deficit but the visiting UBC Thunderbirds made every shot when it counted, to win 81-62 at the CARSA Performance Gym on November 25.
"They are a good team and they took it to us," said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. "We responded here and there, but not enough."
Jenna Bugiardini had another big night to lead the Vikes with 27 points in the game. Nicole Karstein added 16, while Jenna Krug went seven-for-11 from the field for 12 of her own.
The T-Birds put up a balanced scoring effort, with four different players finishing the game in double-digits. Maddison Penn went four-for-seven from beyond the arc en route to 26 points. Shilpa Khanna and Keylyn Filewich added 13 and 12 points respectively.
"The last few games we have had three or four players in double-figures and not always the same ones," said Thunderbirds head coach Deb Huband. "We are trying to build our comfort with our systems and when multiple players are in double-figures it's looking like people are more comfortable."
UBC jumped out to a big lead early in the game. Efficient shooting and a high-pressure defence put them ahead 19-5 midway through the first quarter.
"I think we came out with good intensity," said Huband. "We had a good team effort and held our energy throughout the game and got some good contributions from different places."
The veterans on the Vikes pulled them back into the game. Karstein and Bugiardini both began banging bodies in the paint to cut down on the T-Bird's open looks while also starting to find their scoring touch from the field.
"The hope is that we battle back and forth and we just let them get blow after blow without fighting back, and you can't do that against a team that good," said Sinclair.
With UBC leading by just eight points at the halftime break, it looked like the second half was shaping up to be another close one between these two programs that have battled each other so many times.
The T-Birds didn't come into the contest with an undefeated record without reason however, they used a high shooting percentage to open up a lead that they wouldn't relinquish.
"The energy and the commitment to what we were trying to do offensively and defensively was solid," said Huband. "We are trying to create offence from our defence and we did that tonight as well."
UBC went 9-for-14 from three-point land in the game and shot over 45 per cent from the field as a team.
These same two teams will do battle tomorrow night, November 26, in Vancouver with the game starting at 5:00 p.m. That game can be watched live on canadawest.tv
When asked what her team could do better in the second game of the double-header, Sinclair responded.
"Fight and defend, our post defence was not good, we gave up too many offensive boards so we have to do a better job inside," said Sinclair. "We just have to fight harder from start to finish."
UVIC: 14-17-18-13: 62
UBC: 21-18-22-20: 81
UVIC: Jenna Bugiardini (27), Nicole Karstein (16), Jenna Krug (12)
UBC: Maddison Penn (26), Shilpa Khanna (13), Keylyn Filewich (12)