By Ardy Ramezani, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women's basketball team fell short to the Saskatchewan Huskies, 89-83, in their first regular season game at home on Nov. 13. Saskatchewan's senior duo of Laura Dally and Dalyce Emmerson combined for 67 of the Huskies' points on the night.
The Vikes had five players post double digits. Second-year Amira Giannattasio led the team with 18 points, while fourth-year Nicole Karstein had 17. First year Avery Snider made her regular season debut at home with 14 points, while fourth years Jenna Krug and Jenna Bugiardini logged 11 and 14 points, respectively.
Huskies duo of Emmerson and Dally dominated the visitor's offence, helping the visitors shoot 57 per cent from the field. It was a very impressive night for Emmerson who posted a double-double of 39 points and 10 rebounds. Dally added 28 points to the scoreboard, scoring five buckets from outside the arc and nailing all nine free-throw attempts.
"We didn't pressure the ball enough on the perimeter," said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. "We let their top scorers and best players beat us and we can't do that but I thought what hurt us more was missed opportunities – turnovers, missed shots, missed layups and sloppiness. If we take care of our own stuff in our own end then it's a different result. If we are a bit tighter in what we are doing we could win that game any day."
The game tipped off with Saskatchewan scoring after a Victoria foul. The Vikes answered quickly in the other end, setting the back-and-forth tone that would continue for the remainder of the quarter. A trey by Giannatasio put the Vikes up ahead for the first time only to be silenced by another three in the other end by Dally.
Fifth years Dally and Emerson displayed their experience scoring 22 of Saskatchewan's points in the first quarter. Dally scored three buckets from the perimeter, silencing each of Giannattassio's treys to put Saskatchewan ahead 27-24 at the end of the quarter.
Both sides slowed their offensive pace in the second quarter. Despite the tempo change, the Vikes were unable to contain Emmerson who logged another ten points. Her efforts allowed Saskatchewan to grow their leading margin by six points to a scoreline of 43-37 by halftime.
Despite Saskatchewan increasing their lead to double-digits by the middle of the third quarter, the Vikes went on an eight-point scoring streak to lower their trail. However, the Vikes were unable to fully capitalize on their offensive stride due to missed chances and turnovers.
The Vikes started the final quarter with a trey by first-year Snider to put her in double digits on the scoreboard. The Vikes carried this momentum into their offense, forcing the Huskies into foul trouble.
Free throws by fourth-year Karstein momentarily put the Vikes within one point of Saskatchewan but Dally and Emmerson used their offensive strength to increase the visitors' lead to five points with a minute left. Despite the Vikes' best efforts, the home crowd was silenced by a three-pointer from Dally with 30 seconds left. Saskatchewan sealed the game 89-83 at the final whistle.
"There is always build up for that first regular season home opener but we've been going so long already that I don't even look at them that way anymore," added Sinclair about first years Langdon and Snider who were tasked with guarding fifth-year Huskies throughout the night. "They have done such a great job of just rolling in like Katie and Avery. Those two played big minutes tonight for us. There are moments when I am reminded that they are first year but they are very smart and they will get a chance tomorrow night to make up for things from tonight."
The Vikes will be back at the CARSA Performance Gym tomorrow evening to take on the Huskies again at 5:00 p.m. The game will be streamed live pay-per-view with stats and video at canadawest.tv.
SCORING BY QUARTER
SASK: 27-16-17-29 : 89
UVIC: 24-13-15-31 : 83
SASK: Dalyce Emmerson (39), Laura Dally (28), Kelsey Trulsurd (9)
UVIC: Amira Giannattassio (18), Avery Snider (14), Jenna Krug (11), Nicole Karstein (17), Jenna Bugiardini (14)