CJ Pentland, CapU Sport Information Director
The CapU Blues women’s basketball team handed the CCAA #5 ranked Vancouver Island University Mariners their first loss of the season on Saturday afternoon, earning an 80-66 win on the road in Nanaimo to improve to 6-4 and remain in second place in the PACWEST. The victory came on the heels of a narrow 76-72 defeat to the Mariners on Friday night.
Playing against the toughest defence in the conference, which had allowed an average of 47 points per game heading into the weekend, the Blues had a fourth-quarter comeback fall short in Friday’s opener. Trailing by 10 at the half, CapU chipped away and cut their deficit to three early in the fourth, and despite VIU answering to push their lead back to double-digits, the Blues went on a 10-1 run in the final three minutes to make it 71-68 with 22 seconds left.
With VIU going 1-of-2 from the free throw line on their final three trips, and CapU scoring quickly on each of their next two possessions to make it a three-point game, the Blues had a chance to tie with five seconds left – but Reiko Ohama’s three-point attempt narrowly missed.
Ten different CapU players scored in the game and eight had at least one assist. First-year forward Alessia Brutto led the way with 16 points, five rebounds, and three assists, and Ohama had 15 points, seven boards, five assists, and two steals.
CapU picked up where they left off in Saturday’s game, building up an 18-2 lead and scoring 26 points in the opening frame and holding off a VIU push in the second quarter en route to the 14-point win. The Blues held VIU to a 32.4% field goal percentage and a 1-of-11 mark from beyond the arc, and responded by shooting 10-of-29 from long range.
Second-year guard Simrat Dosanjh scored six of those threes, ending the afternoon with 20 points, six assists, and four rebounds. Mackenzie Smith was also a force in the paint, shooting 11-of-14 and totaling 23 points, eight boards, four assists, and one block; she now leads the PACWEST in field goal percentage with a 61.5% mark, and has jumped into a tie for seventh in scoring.
Other Blues on the conference leaderboard are Ohama, who’s first in assists and fourth in scoring, and Brutto who’s second in rebounding and tied for seventh in scoring. Dosanjh and Sherrie Errico are also both in the top 10 for assists.
With a bye next weekend, CapU is back in action on January 25 and 26 when they host Langara College for a two-game series at the Centre for Sport and Wellness in North Vancouver.