The Victoria Vikes continue to hold up their end of the bargain as they attempt to hunt down a home playoff date in Canada West women’s basketball play.
It’s the rest of the Pacific Division that isn’t quite agreeing.
The Vikes sunk their teeth into the Mount Royal University Cougars for the second straight evening, winning 94-58 on Saturday night in Calgary. It was the team’s ninth victory in 10 outings as associate coach Dani Sinclair’s Vikes improve to 15-5 in the standings.
That impressive .750 win percentage still only leaves the squad in third place in the tough division, tied with Thompson Rivers in wins at 15, but having lost and played one less game. Victoria failed to gain any ground on Fraser Valley and UBC, who both won to go to 16-4.
Thompson Rivers lost to Fraser Valley 80-56 to slip to 15-6, while UBC trumped UNBC 70-48 on Saturday.
“We just want to try and have control over it and we know the only way to do that is to keep winning,” said Sinclair, who received a nice performance from Jenna Bugiardini. She recorded 20 points and was good on four-of-six from the three-point arc. “That’s all we can really worry about.
“I’m obviously keeping my eyes on the other games, but we’re not letting the girls get too worried about that. We’ll take it one game at a time and wherever we fall, we’ll deal with it when the time comes.”
The regular season ends for the Vikes with a home-and-home series versus UBC that starts in Vancouver on Friday and returns to McKinnon Gym on Saturday, which could determine who places second and hosts playoffs in the first round.
Fraser Valley has an easier finish to the schedule against Trinity Western so the Spartans could wrap up first place.
Debbie Yeboah added 19 points for the Vikes on Saturday and was a perfect seven-for-seven from the free-throw line in the first half as UVic built up a 51-28 advantage at the break. Yeboah had 15 of her 19 at the midway mark.
Tessla Rennie had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the impressive win and Jessica Renfrew also finished in double figures with 12 points. Bugiardini was terrific in shooting as the Vikes nearly reached the magical 100-point mark on the night.
“Jenna played really well, shot the ball really well and was confident,” said Sinclair. “She took advantage of them leaving her open a couple of times.”
In men’s play, the Vikes suffered a crushing 69-68 loss at Mount Royal to snap a seven-game win streak.
Michael Acheampong hit a pair of three-pointers to cut it to one late, but missed his jumper at the end as Victoria slips to 14-6.
It was just the Cougars’ fourth win of the season to go with 16 losses.
The Vikes came out slow yet again, trailing Mount Royal 16-12 after the first quarter, but turned up the heat in the second. A 13-0 run led to a 38-32 advantage at the half, but the visitors fell flat in the second half before coming alive late to erase a 67-58 deficit.
Victoria couldn’t quite pull it out and will not catch UBC for first place.
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