Wesmen upend Vikes in Game 1 of quarter-final series

Wesmen upend Vikes in Game 1 of quarter-final series

Winnipeg Wesmen Communications

WINNIPEG - A dominating third quarter lifted the University of Winnipeg Wesmen to an 82-70 victory over the University of Victoria Vikes in Game 1 of a Canada West women's basketball quarter-final series Thursday evening at the Dr. David F. Anderson Gymnasium in Winnipeg.

Winnipeg exploded for 25 points and held the Vikes to only 12 in the frame to open up a 65-48 lead after 30 minutes.

Faith Hezekiah led the Wesmen with a game high 23 points and was strong on the boards finishing with nine rebounds. Antoinette Miller finished with a double-double, 17 points and 10 rebounds. Megan Noonan also scored 17 followed by Lena Wenke with 14.

Kristy Gallagher was the top scorer for Victoria finishing the game with 20 points. Amira Giannattasio had 18 with six-three pointers. Jenna Bugiardini also scored in double digits finishing with 15.

Winnipeg came out of the gate on a quick note building a 6-1 lead early on. The Vikes responded with seven unanswered points to take the lead at 8-6. The teams exchanged points down the stretch as the Wesmen led 19-17 after the opening frame.

Gallagher gave the Vikes the lead back in the second quarter scoring eight straight points to put the visitors in the lead at 25-23. Winnipeg responded in a big way running off nine straight points, five by Wenke to take a 32-25 lead with 4:13 left. Gallagher scored six points down the stretch to cu the Wesmen lead to 40-36 at the halftime break.

The Wesmen made a statement in the third quarter, outscoring the Vikes 15-3 in the opening 6:00 minutes to extend their lead to double-digits. Winnipeg kept the pressure on Victoria scoring 25 points in the quarter to carry a 65-48 lead into the fourth quarter.

Victoria made the game interesting in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Wesmen 10-4 to cut the deficit to 69-58. A three-pointer by Bugiardini with over a minute left cut the Wesmen lead to 72-68. The Wesmen did not fold and converted their free throws down the stretch to preserve the 82-70 victory.

"Tonight was a tough win vs a very good Victoria team. They have a veteran team that has a never give up attitude and they showed it tonight. I don't think I have seen a better three-point shooting team and they hit some unreal shots. We anticipate another hard fought battle tomorrow", said Wesmen head coach Tanya McKay.

Game two of the best of three series will be played Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. If a game three is necessary it will be played Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.