Men’s Basketball: Dinos fend off Cascades down the stretch, win 92-87
The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team battled one of the top teams in the nation down to the wire on Friday evening, but the Calgary Dinos clawed out a 92-87 decision in Calgary.
The Dinos won the U Sports national silver medal last season and currently hold the No. 5 spot in the national rankings, and they lived up to that billing on Thursday as they blitzed the Cascades 106-68.
But UFV regrouped and came with a much better effort in the rematch, finally succumbing after Denver Sparks-Guest’s potential game-tying three-pointer from the right wing fell short in the dying seconds. The Dinos tacked on two late free throws for the final five-point margin.
“I was really proud of the group – they showed a lot of character coming out after yesterday’s game and believing in themselves, knowing they could put out a better performance and better effort,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said. “And they did that.
“The things we’ve been trying to get through to the group all year is, you need to help the players beside you – you have to play together. Calgary, with their athleticism, makes you pay when you hold the basketball, and the guys realized we had to move without the ball and keep the ball moving to have success. Tonight we did that as well as we have all season, and we found some really good shots.”
The Cascades were the early aggressors, building a 20-16 lead at the end of the first quarter before Calgary came back to take a 48-47 edge into halftime.
The two teams battled back and forth throughout the third quarter, but the Dinos made a run early in the fourth, stretching the lead to 85-72 after a Dallas Kapinga layup with four minutes left in regulation.
The Cascades kept scrapping – they responded with a lightning-quick 15-3 run, highlighted by an extremely tough contested three-pointer by Manny Dulay from well back of the arc, to get back to within 88-87 with 32 seconds remaining.
Dinos leading scorer Thomas Cooper drew a foul on the ensuing possession and made both free throws with 12 seconds remaining to make it 90-87, and Sparks-Guests’s long-distance effort to tie the game came up short.
The Cascades fell to 5-7 while the Dinos improved to 10-2 in a game which featured 13 tied and 12 lead changes. Both teams were efficient offensively – the Cascades shot 50.8 per cent from the field, and the Dinos were at 49.3 per cent.
Dulay racked up a game-high 18 points and seven rebounds, while Anthony Gilchrist scored 14 points as part of what Friesen termed a “phenomenal” two-way effort. He had the unenviable task of guarding Cooper, and limited the reigning Canada West player of the year to 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field.
Kapinga led the Dinos with 16 points, while Jasdeep Gill had a season-high 15. Nav Bains (12 points) and Mark Johnson (11) also scored in double figures for the Cascades.
“We were down 13 with four minutes left . . . but the guys dug down deep and said, we’ll battle this out to the buzzer and see what happens,” Friesen said. “It shows what kind of leadership we have, and that everyone was supporting one another.”
The Cascades basketball teams are on the road again next weekend, facing the University of Alberta on Friday and Saturday in Edmonton.
– with files from University of Calgary Athletics
Women’s Basketball: Williams’s hot hand lifts Cascades to big road win over Dinos
A red-hot shooting performance from Sydney Williams sparked the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team to a 69-60 victory over the Calgary Dinos on the road on Friday evening.
Williams, the Cascades’ third-year guard from Langley, B.C., swished seven three-pointers, accounting for all of her game-high 21 points from beyond the arc and enabling the Cascades to earn a weekend split in Calgary.
The Dinos had won the opener of the two-game set on Thursday by a nearly identical score (69-59), and the two teams emerge from the series with matching 8-4 records, tied for fifth in Canada West.
“Syd was fantastic tonight at both ends of the floor,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer enthused. “We gave her the task of defending (Dinos leading scorer) Brianna Ghali, and I thought she did a great job of slowing her down in transition. And then, she had one of those flashback Syd games where she had a lot of confidence in her shot and hit some huge ones for us.”
The Cascades got off to a scorching start, opening the game on an 11-0 run which featured five points from Shayna Litman and triples from Williams and Sara Simovic. The Dinos settled down, though, and cut the deficit to 15-12 at the end of the quarter. Then they blitzed UFV 23-6 in the second to take a 35-21 lead into halftime.
After hitting the early trey, Williams finished 1-for-7 from beyond the arc in the first half. It was a different story after the break – she went 6-for-8 the rest of the way, and spearheaded a phenomenal third quarter which saw the Cascades outscore the Dinos 32-16 to get back into the game.
UFV locked it down on defence in the fourth quarter – after Ghali’s three-pointer with five minutes remaining to knot the score 60-60, the hosts would not muster another point. It was Williams, appropriately, who inserted the dagger, knocking down a corner triple with 1:40 remaining to make it 67-60.
It was the Dinos’ first conference loss at home, and the Cascades’ second win on the road.
“I wasn’t very pleased at halftime – we were really stagnant offensively, and when we get that way we’re not effective at all,” Tuchscherer said. “Kayli (Sartori, Cascades’ leading scorer) ran into a little bit of foul trouble as well, and nobody really stepped up. We had an honest conversation at halftime, and the girls responded well. We came out of the backcourt with a little bit more pace, and we had people moving in our offence.
“A split here this weekend is huge for us. To drop two would have given us a little bit of separation from that first group, and we’d like to stay in the hunt with those top teams in the conference.”
Litman’s 16 points included nine in the first quarter, and Simovic (11 points) and Taylor Claggett (10 points, eight boards) also scored in double figures. Sartori was limited to eight points, but she found other ways to contribute, notching eight rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Erin McIntosh paced the Dinos with 18 points.
“Kayli’s really banged up right now, but I thought she did what she had to do tonight,” Tuchscherer said. “She facilitated, made big free throws down the stretch, and she was always dangerous.”
Men’s Volleyball: Cascades sweep past Blues in three straight sets
It wasn’t the clinical performance that University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball coach Kyle Donen had been hoping for, but the Cascades saved their best for last in a three-set victory over the Capilano Blues on Friday.
The Cascades were inconsistent throughout the first two sets at the Envision Athletic Centre, but nevertheless managed to play their best points in the late going and prevailed by scores of 25-23 and 25-21. The third set was more to Donen’s liking, as the hosts closed out the match 25-19.
The Cascades (12-3, second in PACWEST) and Blues (6-9, tied for fourth) wrap up the weekend home-and-home series on Saturday in North Vancouver (8 p.m. start, webcast at pacwestbc.tv).
“I thought we started every set really well, and I liked the way we finished the last one, but the ones before I thought we could have been stronger,” analyzed Donen, whose team is ranked No. 8 in the nation. “Overall, I think we did some good things . . . but we had our ups and downs, and I just think we could have been a little more consistent.
“Our serving was a little off tonight, and I think that threw us for a loop. We missed some serves in situations where we’re not used to missing, and I think that gave them a little life – and they had a couple guys who bombed on some serves and went on some runs. They pushed us a little bit, but we were able to execute well enough to finish sets off, and that’s what we did well.”
Left sides Nick Bruce and Ben Friesen spearheaded the Cascades’ offence with seven and six kills, respectively. Right side Joel Kleingeltink hammered three aces to go with his five kills, while Friesen and Connor Pruim tied for team-high honours with three blocks apiece. Donen was also pleased with the play of setter Dan Tang and left side Matt Whittall off the bench – they came in late in a couple of sets to give UFV a different look, and succeeded in swinging the momentum to the Cascades.
Women’s Volleyball: Blues top Cascades to open home-and-home set
The Capilano Blues got the best of an injury-riddled University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball squad on Friday evening, winning in three straight sets at the Envision Athletic Centre.
With a starting setter Jessica Funk and left side Kim Bauder sidelined due to injury, the Cascades managed to hit the 20-point plateau in each set, but the Blues – ranked No. 10 in the nation – were just a bit stronger at the finish and prevailed by scores of 25-23, 25-21 and 25-20.
UFV (5-10) and Capilano (10-5) clash again on Saturday at 6 p.m. in North Vancouver to complete the home-and-home weekend series (webcast at pacwestbc.tv).
Cascades head coach Mike Gilray noted that three Cascades were making their 2016-17 regular-season debuts in the starting lineup on Friday: setter Channelle Friesen, left side Kelly Robertson and libero Cassidy King.
“I thought all three of them performed admirably,” he said. “I thought our energy levels were the best they’ve been all year, and that’s a competitive team to play against.
“One of the things we’ve talked about this year is our depth, and our depth helped us compete against a top-10 ranked team in the country tonight. We were within five every game, and I think we had our opportunities at 20 in all three games but it kind of got away from us a bit.
“It’s a long season, every team’s got to get through them (injuries), and it’ll make us a better team in the end.”
Robertson sparked the UFV offence with 13 kills and added 12 digs. King (a team-high 13 digs) and Rachel Funk (two stuff blocks) chipped in defensively.