After two close losses -- especially close on Saturday night, as the Vikes were leading by four with less than a minute left in the game -- to the #9-ranked Alberta Pandas this past weekend, the Victoria Vikes have fallen even farther from the top spot they held a few weeks ago down to #4. Windsor remains at #1, while Regina and Saskatchewan pick up the #2 and #3 spots, respectively. The rankings are available here.
Here's how the top 10 teams fared this past week:
The top-ranked Lancers swept their weekend competition and will enter the second half of the season ranked #1 in the OUA and the CIS. Behind a 24-point and 12-rebound performance by Jessica Clemençon (who was also named OUA athlete of the week after the weekend's play), the Lancers knocked off the Queen's Golden Gaels 77-58 on Friday night. On Saturday, the Lancers bombarded the RMC Paladins 95-41 behind an equally massive 29 point performance by Clemençon. The Lancers outscored the host team 58-14 in the second half, with Bojana Kovacevic adding her own 20 points to the visitor tally.
The Cougars managed a sweep of their own, but it was in a much less definitive fashion: with the game tied 62-62 with 40 seconds left on Friday, it was a pair of Lindsay Ledingham free throws that ultimately put Regina on top on the Dinos and allowed them to hold on to a nail-biting 66-64 win. Ledingham led all scorers with 19, while Gabrielle Gheyssen went 4/6 from behind the arc and added 16 of her own. On Saturday it was another 19 points, but this time from Joanna Zalesiak, that gave the Cougars another squeaker of a win: only 5 points separated the (previously #3) Cougars from unranked Calgary and ended their weekend sweep 72-67.
#4 Victoria and #9 U of A (technically #8 -- they're tied with Toronto):
If seeing is truly believing, then the Vikes are potentially in for a scary next few games: sources say senior post Kayla Dykstra went down hard in the final seconds of Saturday's game in the Pandas gym, and had to be helped off while clutching her left knee. It remains to be seen if Dykstra has in fact been seriously injured, but the Vikes surely (and all other sympathizers) are hoping that the Christmas break will be enough to put her back in fighting shape.
Pre-injury, however, things were not sunshine and roses for the visiting team either: the Island team was knocked off 82-71 and 67-66 on their prairie road trip, and have fallen two spots in the rankings to #4 as a result. On Friday, Debbie Yeboah, Dykstra, and Vanessa Forstbauer tallied 21, 20, and 17 points respectively in the losing effort, while Georgia Popovici, Nicole Clarke and Marissa Haylett totalled 22, 20 and 20 in response. On Saturday, it was a last-second three pointer by Anneka Bakker that sealed the Vikings' fate, and Dykstra's long-bomb-to-desperation-layup rimmed out to give the Pandas the 67-66 win.
A stifling defense, together with a well-rounded scoring effort (eight Mustangs tallied 8 or more points, and 5 of those 8 were double-digit scores) led the Mustangs to an absolute stomping of the RMC Paladins 93-29. On Saturday, however, Western was far less dominant: a come-from-behind effort and a 20-16 4th quarter was necessary for the 65-64 win at the Golden Gaels gym. For the home team, Brittany Moore led all scorers with 21, while Jenny Vaughan, Jacklyn Selfe and Matteke Hutzler added 19, 17 and 14 for the Mustangs, respectively.
Other top 10 teams:
97-49 over Dalhouse on Friday and 93-77 over Acadia Saturday, which surprisingly enough had a 27-point individual performance from each team (Duinker and Colborne).
71-49 over McMaster and 85-61 over Lakehead.
81-45 over Waterloo on Friday and a 60-52 win over Laurier the next night.
#10 Cape Breton:
71-68 over St. FX on Wednesday.