Jessica Renfrew has managed to capture lightning in a bottle, a remarkable accomplishment considering the third-year forward and her University of Victoria Vikes teammates were caught in mid -20 C temperatures in Winnipeg.
Renfrew, a Claremont Secondary grad, was red-hot in the cold with 23 points in a 79-62 victory over the Manitoba Bisons on Saturday night.
It was the second straight evening Renfrew led all scorers on the floor as the Vikes women’s basketball team improved to 8-4 on the Canada West Season.
Renfrew had 21 on Friday against the Winnipeg Wesmen. On a recent warmer excursion to California, during the holidays, she recorded team-highs of 15 and 31 points respectively in losses to Biola and Vanguard Universities.
“Those two games in California were probably her best of the year, maybe the best of her career,” Vikes associate coach Dani Sinclair said of Renfrew.
“Really, she’s been so solid for us all year and I’m so happy for her because she’s earned it. She’s put so much time into her game and she’s working on both ends of the floor.”
Debbie Yeboah added 19 points courtesy of a strong second half for the Vikes and Shaylyn Crisp nailed her first three three-point attempts to give Victoria a spark in the opening half as the visitors led 41-38 at the midway mark.
Crisp did it while battling the flu the last few days.
“She was relegated to the hotel room for most of the last 36 hours,” Sinclair said. “She’s barely eaten anything since Thursday and she still put in a lot of minutes tonight.”
The Vikes out-scored the Bisons 19-9 to pull away in the fourth quarter and have claimed two straight victories since coming off the Christmas break.
In men’s play, the Vikes lost their second straight, dropping an 82-79 heartbreaker as Yigit Ozsayiner canned a three-pointer just before the buzzer for the Bisons. Victoria had roared back from a 66-49 third-quarter deficit and had a chance to take a lead, but Terrell Evans missed his second from the free-throw line with nine seconds left.
Michael Acheampong led the now 7-5 Vikes with 17 points while Stephan Walton poured in 24 and Ozsayiner added 22 for the Bisons, who improve to 8-5.
The Victoria teams return home next weekend to play host to Regina and Brandon on Friday and Saturday.