(Braedan Willis, Vikes Communications)
VICTORIA- The University of Victoria Vikes women's basketball team managed a home-and-home series split against the UBC Thunderbirds. After losing in a triple overtime thriller on Nov. 1, the Vikes took care of business on their home court, beating the T-birds 72-65 on Nov. 3 at the CARSA Performance Gym in Victoria.
With the win, the Vikes improve to a 3-1 record while UBC falls to 2-2.
Katie Langdon led the Vikes with 19 points on the night to go along with eight rebounds and two steals.
"I was really proud of Katie's performance today," said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. "UBC had a ton of rebounds on Thursday night and Katie took that personally. She did a fantastic job for us tonight, especially in the last couple minutes."
The Thunderbirds would get out to an early 14-9 lead in the first quarter. The two sides got stuck at that score for over two minutes until Amira Giannattasio sunk her first three-pointer of the night to pull the Vikes within two at the quarter break. Thunderbird and 2017 Canada West All-Star Maddison Penn showed her ability to generate points in tight to the net, she led the T-birds with six points in the opening frame.
"We started the game really well tonight," commented T-birds head coach Deb Huband. " After that, we went away from what was working for us and never really found our stride again."
The Vikes came out firing in the second quarter, starting with a 10-3 run to take a 22-17 lead. However, the Thunderbirds would go on 10-3 run of their own, wrestling the lead away from the Vikes to go up 27-25. The T-birds' Penn would be the first player to hit double digits in points on the night but UBC would find themselves down 31-29 at half time. Langdon and Calli McMillan scored back-to-back baskets to give the Vikes the lead at the break.
Just before the half way mark of the third quarter Giannattasio and Ashlyn Day hit back-to-back three point shots to give the Vikes a 44-35 lead. UBC would follow that up with a 10-2 run to pull back to within one point.
Keylen Filewich scored 10 points in the third quarter alone for the T-birds but they trailed the Vikes 50-49 heading into the final quarter of play.
UBC and Victoria went back and fourth in the final quarter, taking turns leading never by more than a couple points. The T-birds would call their timeout with 4:12 left to play in the game, up by a score of 59-55.
Aleah Ashlee sank a three point shot with just over three minutes to play to get the Vikes back out in front. Langdon drew a foul late and hit both her free throws to put the Vikes up 67-63 and would grind out the rest of the game, winning by a final score of 72-65.
Both teams will be on the road next week. UBC heads to Manitoba to take on the Bisons on Nov. 9-10 and the Vikes take on the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Nov. 9-10 as well.
1 2 3 4: F
UBC: 14 15 20 16: 65
VIC: 12 19 19 22: 72
UBC: Maddison Penn (17), Keylen Filewich (14), Jess Hanson (13)
VIC: Katie Langdon (19), Aleah Ashlee (17), Amira Giannattasio (16)