Vikes’ Bugiardini, Giannattasio light up Nights of Lightning

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Hamilton, Ont.-born Amari Giannattasio and Jenna Bugiardini combined for 56 points against the Lethbridge Pronghorns, leading the Vikes women’s basketball team to their ninth win of the season last Friday, defeating Lethbridge 84-59 at CARSA.

Giannattasio, a third-year player, dropped 16 of her 30 in the third quarter as the Vikes put up 37 points in a quarter to pull away from an otherwise close game after the first half, which ended with a score of 37-33 in favour of UVic. Giannattasio, who was shooting sixty percent from three-point range after the first half with 11 points, dropped four of her last five in the third quarter to lead the Vikes to a 37-9 run to end the high-scoring quarter.

Bugiardini, a fifth-year forward also from Hamilton, had her own big night, splashing 26 points and shooting 12 for 17 from the field to bully the Pronghorns defense in the paint. Bugiardini also helped by scooping up four defensive rebounds and limiting on personal fouls, incurring only one.

Along with their overwhelming offense against the Pronghorns, the Vikes used their strong defense against to disrupt shots and force turnovers. The Pronghorns coughed up the basketball eighteen times (eight in the second half), which allowed the Vikes’ offense to stay hot, and score 18 points of turnovers, shifting the balance of the game. Giannattasio’s defense was just as prominent as her offense, snatching three steals.

The Vikes made sure to stopped Lethbridge from cashing in on Victoria’s 17 turnovers, only allowing 13 points off.Their impressive 37-point quarter also came with lock-down defending, only allowing nine points in the whole quarter.

Combined with a second win against Lethbridge on Saturday, Jan. 21, the Vikes improved to 10-4 on the season.The wins also extended their winning streak to six, the biggest winning streak in Canada West, second only to Saskatchewan’s seven-game winning streak.

Victoria stay at home for their next game against Trinity Western University (8-5) tonight at 6 p.m.