UFV Sports Saturday – Basketball

Women’s Basketball: Simovic’s fourth-quarter scoring spurt powers Cascades past Cougars

(Dan Kinvig) – A fourth-quarter scoring outburst from Sara Simovic sparked the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team to a 76-64 victory over the Mount Royal Cougars on Saturday evening.

The Cascades, coming off a 68-47 victory over the Cougars on Friday, trailed 48-47 heading to the fourth quarter of Saturday’s rematch at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre. But that’s when Simovic caught fire. The fifth-year guard from Nanaimo, B.C. scored 11 of her 17 points in the final frame, highlighted by a trio of three-pointers, as the hosts pulled away.

UFV leveled its record at 2-2, while the Cougars fell to 0-4.

“I had a really bad first half, and I had to pull it out somehow because we needed it,” Simovic said afterward. “It was a close game, kind of scary, so you just find it within. I think it was just not second-guessing myself at all – just grab it, shoot it. I knew I was shooting before I even got it, and that’s probably why it went in.”

The Cascades built a 20-15 lead after the first quarter, but the Cougars hung tough and cut the deficit to 34-33 at the break after Michelle Tiffany hit a layup at the buzzer. Taylor Claggett carried the Cascades offensively over the first 20 minutes, racking up 11 points.

The visitors leveraged their size advantage in the paint – they outrebounded UFV 52-45 for the game – and edged ahead in the third quarter, setting the stage for Simovic. She hit three-pointers on back-to-back possessions midway through the frame, but Tiffany responded with a couple treys of her own to keep the Cougars close. Simovic wasn’t done, though – she converted a driving layup followed by her third triple of the quarter to put UFV up 68-60 with 2:30 left, and the Cascades kept the Cougars at bay from there.

“I’m happy for Sara,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “She had a real big fourth quarter for us and knocked down some shots, and we know that she can be that sort of player. She hasn’t been playing with a lot of confidence, and even in the first half, I didn’t think she was fantastic tonight. We talked about that at halftime, and she really responded to that.”

The Cascades’ outstanding forward duo of Shayna Litman (20 points, seven rebounds) and Claggett (18 points, seven rebounds, four assists) also had huge performances.

Tiffany paced the Cougars with 14 poins, while Erin Kehrig (13 points) and Abbey Gillette (12) also scored in double figures.

The Cascades basketball teams hit the road next week to face the Regina Cougars.

Men’s Basketball: Second-half outburst boosts Cougars past Cascades

A thoroughly dominant second-half performance sent the Mount Royal Cougars to an 88-59 win over the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades on Saturday evening.

The score was level at halftime, 41-41, but the Cougars outscored the host Cascades 47-18 after the break to salvage a weekend split at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre. UFV had won Friday’s opener 86-80.

Mount Royal star Josh Ross, limited to 11 points on Friday, took charge in the rematch, racking up 25 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Sukhman Sandhu, with 20 points, was the lone Cascade to score in double figures.

The Cougars squared their record at 2-2, while UFV fell to 1-3.

“We struggle mightily when adversity hits us,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen analyzed. “When it does, we haven’t shown the ability to turn the momentum once we lose it. That’s been unfortunate, and it’s something we’re forced to learn.”

Sandhu, the Cascades’ 6’10” sophomore centre, was hot from downtown in the first half, going 4-for-8 from beyond the arc en route to 16 points at the break. Ross, though, also got rolling early, setting the tone for his team with 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

The Cougars opened the second half on a 9-0 run, highlighted by a couple of buckets in the paint from Ross, and they didn’t look back from there, shooting 66.7 per cent from the field in the third quarter. The Cascades struggled on offence as well as defence, hitting just 25.9 per cent of their field goal attempts in the second half.

Andrew Morris and Riley Braich each chipped in with eight points apiece for the Cascades, and Braich added a team-leading seven rebounds. Daniel Adediran posted seven points, six boards and four assists.

John Hegwood (15 points), Noah Lewis (13) and Glen Yang (11) joined Ross as double-figure scorers for the Cougars.

The UFV basketball teams hit the road next week to face the Regina Cougars.

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