The UVic Vikes men’s and women’s basketball teams scored crucial victories last night at CARSA. The wins propel both teams into the next round of the Canada West playoffs.
The “do ore die” playoff format means that a team only has one chance to win and advance to the next round. The women’s squad took to the court first to tangle with the Regina Cougars. By the end of the first half UVic led 31-21.
The Vikes managed to extend their lead in the second half with help from Aleah Ashlee, who kicked off the fourth quarter with a quick six points, and Marissa Dheensaw. Regina had a late game resurgence with baskets from Emily Dewey and Alexi Rowden, but the Vikes held on 69-49 for a second round playoff berth.
Dheensaw had a game high 18 points, and felt that the team was confident going into the pivotal match-up.
“I think everyone was ready to do what they needed to do, and with all round team play that’s what really brought it up for us.”
The men’s team tipped off against the Brandon Bobcats in another “win or go home” scenario. Though the Bobcats came into the game as the lower seeded team, they started off strong, and going into the halftime break the score was tied at 43 a piece.
The Bobcats and Vikes would trade the lead back and forth throughout the third and fourth quarter. Matthew Ellis and Hayden Lejeune lead a scoring assault in the final half to clinch an 88-80 win. For Lejeune, who’s in his fifth and final year, any chance to play with the team is special.
“Nothing’s really guaranteed, so I’m not feeling too much pressure. I like going out there and I enjoy playing with this team so every opportunity to play with this team is a blessing.”
The men’s team will play the Manitoba Bisons next Saturday at quarter final host University of Alberta, while the women’s squad will play the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in Saskatoon on Thursday.