VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes bounced back after a rough home opener to knock off the University of Alberta Pandas 74-62 on Saturday night during Canada West play at the CARSA Performance Gym.
Front to back, it was an overall better performance by the Vikes.
Vikes freshman Tana Pankratz checked in six minutes into the first and had an immediate impact. She busted up a pair of plays with quick hands in her own end and she drained a corner three off a slicing pass from Calli MacMillan late in the quarter. Pankratz ended the evening with six points.
MacMillan was also efficient when shooting the ball. She finished with 11 shots on four shots, highlighted by a three pointer on the left wing in the third quarter.
Down four early in the second quarter, Pandas fifth-year guard Vanessa Wild got cooking by driving for the right-handed layup and completed the and-1 opportunity. An early foul took her out for nearly seven minutes in the first half and she never found her groove, which led her to 23 points the night prior. With only five points at halftime, she scored six-straight points in the third and closed out the fourth with an and-1 to finish with another 23-point performance.
The Pandas shot an even 50 percent from the floor last night. Tonight, the Vikes held them to 38.3 percent. The Vikes did a better job as a unit getting hands in passing lanes and disrupting Panda plays. Last night, the Vikes only recorded five steals. By halftime this evening, the Vikes picked up six.
The Pandas didn't help themselves out, as they finished with 23 turnovers, which yielded 21 points in the Vikes direction.
Marissa Dheensaw found Katie Langdon in transition a pair of times in the second quarter. Dheensaw led the Vikes with five assists, while Langdon cleaned up in the paint. The Owen Sound, Ont., native scored a team-high 17 points on shots close to the basket. She also led the Vikes with seven boards.
Jenna Harpe and Megan Tywoniuk started the third quarter by splashing one three each to cut the Vikes lead to three. Harpe was having another strong game with eight points and three rebounds, but she left late in the third after she sustained a bleeding nose and didn't return. Tywoniuk was second on the Pandas with nine points.
Brooklyn Legault started 3-for-4 for the Pandas, but cooled off down the stretch as she ended with seven points.
Next weekend, the Vikes (3-1) host the Brandon University Bobcats (0-6) at CARSA for a pair of games. The Pandas (4-2) are as well next weekend, as they host the Mount Royal University Cougars (2-2) for two games.