VICTORIA – UVic's Amira Giannattasio scored 23 points in the first half and 36 overall to help drop the UBC Okanagan women's basketball to a 78-64 loss on the road to the Vikes inside the CARSA Performance Gym on Oct. 28.
UBC Okanagan were able to keep the game close into the second quarter but once the Vikes pushed their lead over double digits UBC Okanagan struggled to get any closer, eventually falling by 14 points.
After the Heat knocked down an early three-pointer to tie the game at 23, the Vikes went on an absolute tear in the middle of the second quarter, going on a 13-0 run and ending the half up 42-29.
Liberal use of substitutions, balanced scoring – eight players with at least a basket – and seven points from Emma Jonas kept the game tight for much of the first 15 minutes, but 11 first half turnovers allowed the Vikes to grab a lead they would not relinquish.
The Heat stepped things up a notch coming out of the halftime break and were able to increase the pressure defensively to slow down the Vikes offence but couldn't quite string together enough baskets in a row to cut the lead to single digits as the Vikes led 55-45 after three quarters of play.
A shot from Shenelle Tamminen would eventually cut the Vikes lead to just nine but that was as close as the Heat would come as the Vikes pulled away late in the fourth quarter en route to the 14-point win.
"We are playing a bit too inconsistently right now, we show spurts where we play well but it's not for forty minutes," said Heat head coach Claire Meadows. "Last night we tied the last three quarters, tonight we won two quarters which is great for us because we are a young team, but if we want to compete we have to better and more consistent."
Heat scoring leaders
Second-year guard Emma Jonas led the Heat in scoring on the night, recording 18 points while going a perfect eight-for-eight from the charity stripe.
Lindsey Bott and Shennelle Tamminen each chipped in offensively for the visitors with Bott scoring ten points and Tamminen nine.
Bott's 10 points were in 26 minutes in the first Canada West action for the North Vancouver rookie.
Vikes scoring leaders
Amira Giannattasio scored 23 points in the first half and 36 overall on 14-26 shooting in 36 minutes on the court.
Also playing a key role in the win was a Vikes defence that forced the Heat into making turnovers all game long. Third-year forward Marissa Dheensaw led the way on the defensive end, picking up seven steals in the first half and finishing the game with 15 points in her 35 minutes on the court
The Heat will get the chance to pick up their first win of the Canada West season when they return to Kelowna for a pair of games against the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Nov. 4 and 5.
The Vikes meanwhile will hit the road for the first time in their 2017-18 campaign next weekend as the team takes their 2-0 record to Brandon for a pair of games against the Bobcats on Nov. 3 and 4.
All of those games can be watched live on canadawest.tv
~ With notes from Cameron Doherty, Vikes Communications