The battle for home court advantage in the first round of the Canada West women’s basketball playoffs heated up in Kamloops on Friday night, and the University of Victoria Vikes drew first blood.
Riding the hot hand of Debbie Yeboah, the Vikes broke open a close game in the second quarter and cruised to a 71-67 victory over the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack.
With the victory, the Vikes jump past TRU (11-5) into second spot in the Pacific Division with an 11-4 record. Fraser Valley (12-3) holds down top spot, and the top two teams will host first-round playoff games.
Yeboah, the Vikes leading scorer averaging 18.4 points per game, racked up 20 points, a team-high eight rebounds and six assists. Fellow guard Cassandra Goodis also had a strong game, with 16 points.
The Vikes did a good job containing WolfPack star Diane Schuetze as UVic held Canada West’s leading scorer to 14 points. She averages 21 per game.
The WolfPack had no answer for the Vikes’ outside shooting as UVic hit nine three-pointers with Yeboah, Goodis, Jessica Renfrew and Shaylyn Crisp all hitting a pair.
In the men’s game, the Vikes couldn’t be stopped from three-point land and routed the WolfPack 81-64.
The win improves UVic’s record to 10-5 as they hold down second place in the Pacfic Division. Thompson Rivers drops to 6-10.
The Vikes dropped nine three-pointers on the WolfPack, with Kyle Peterson, Vijay Dhillon and Brandon Dunlop nailing two each. Vikes forward Terrell Evans had a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
The women’s and men’s Vikes and WolfPack squads will go at it again tonight in Kamloops, with tipoffs at 5 and 7 p.m.
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