UFV Sports Friday – Hoops Started Second Half Of Season With Wins Over Brandon

Abbotsford (Dan Kinvig) – Men’s Basketball: Cascades lock it down on defence in win over Bobcats.

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An offensive surge in the third quarter and a strong defensive effort throughout powered the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team to a 74-66 victory over the Brandon Bobcats on Friday evening at the Envision Athletic Centre.

Sukhjot Bains led the way for the Cascades at both ends of the floor, racking up a double-double (20 points, 10 rebounds) while serving as the primary defender on Canada West leading scorer Tyvon Cooper. Bains – and a series of help defenders – kept Cooper off the scoresheet in the first half, and held him to seven points for the game, well below his 23.4-point average coming in. The Bobcats were limited to 32.1 per cent shooting as a team.

Andrew Morris chipped in with 15 points and seven rebounds, and Parm Bains (14 points) and Navjot Bains (11 points) also scored in double figures as the Cascades improved to 9-4, tied for third in Canada West.

Troy Grant paced Brandon (2-9) with 19 points, Jaleel Webb scored 13, and Pookie Saunders had 10 for the visitors, who clash once again with the Cascades on Saturday (7 p.m., EFAC, CanadaWest.tv).

“Coming out of the Christmas break, you’re not expecting offence to be at its best,” said UFV head coach Adam Friesen. “But we really wanted our defence to carry us, and I think that’s what happened. The guys were on the same page and knew what our objectives were. I think Sukhjot took the challenge on Tyvon, and our help-side defenders were really active in closing down driving lanes.”

The Cascades opened the game on a 7-0 run, capped by a Nav Bains and-one layup, but the Bobcats battled back. They reeled off a 7-0 run of their own midway through the second quarter, with four points coming via Steven Chieng, to level the score 29-29. UFV finished strong, though, and took a 35-32 advantage into halftime.

Sukhjot Bains took over the game in the third quarter, scoring 11 straight Cascades points – including a trio of three-pointers – in quick succession. Mark Johnson followed with a trey of his own to make it 14 UFV points in two and a half minutes, and the lead was 49-41. The hosts would rack up 29 points in the frame, and while the offence dried up in the fourth quarter (UFV scored just 10 points over the final 10 minutes), they were able to maintain at least an eight-point lead the rest of the way.

“They’re a good defensive team, and that’s the style they play,” Bobcats head coach Gil Cheung said of the Cascades. “It’s not a track meet for them, and they really control the pace. I thought they did a real good job making some shots in the third quarter, and that was a big difference. (Sukhjot) Bains got hot. I thought our guys competed on both ends, but that’s a good team out there that made some shots.

“I thought we played unselfish, and we played the right kind of basketball. We just needed the win tonight. But credit to them – they were a very well-coached team, and they competed.”

Friesen noted that Sukhjot Bains has been “tremendous for us defensively.”

“That spurt in the third quarter gave us the separation we held onto for the rest of the game, and his defence on Tyvon was needed,” he said.

Women’s Basketball: Thompson ties team record with seven treys in win over Bobcats

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A slow start gave way to a torrid finish for the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team, as a memorable shooting performance from Amanda Thompson sparked the hosts to a 71-50 victory over the Brandon Bobcats at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

Thompson, a third-year guard from Abbotsford, B.C., knocked down seven three-pointers to tie a program record for threes made in Canada West play. Those long-distance shots accounted for all of her 21 points.

Taylor Claggett also had a huge night for the Cascades with a game-high 24 points and 14 rebounds, Kate Head chipped in with 10 points and four assists, and Veronica Kobes came off the bench to rack up eight points and six rebounds in 14 minutes.

Lauren Anderson replied with a double-double of her own (15 points, 14 rebounds) for the Bobcats, and Logan Biccum scored 11.

The Cascades’ fifth straight win boosted their record to 8-5, good for sixth place in Canada West, while the Bobcats fell to 2-9. The two teams renew hostilities on Saturday (5 p.m., EFAC, CanadaWest.tv).

“I thought it was kind of a cautious, nervous first quarter for us,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said afterward. “You could tell we weren’t quite sharp with our game. But I thought the second quarter gave us a bit of a boost – we came out and knocked down some shots, and managed to maintain that through the second half and come out with a big win.”

Most of those shots came courtesy of Thompson. The Bobcats held a slender 11-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Thompson caught fire in the second, swishing four treys in the frame. Head also came through with a big shot from distance, beating the halftime buzzer as the hosts grabbed a 30-26 edge at the break.

Thompson continued to cook in the third quarter, knocking down another trio of triples to complement Claggett’s relentless inside game as UFV pushed the advantage to 54-43. They continued to pull away in the fourth quarter.

“It feels great, honestly,” Thompson said, reflecting on her pyrotechnics from downtown. “This past week and the week before that, I was shooting a lot, getting in the gym and ramping up my shot, getting ready for this weekend. I air-balled my first three, and I was just like, ‘Whatever, it’s gone, just keep shooting.’ That’s the mentality I’m going in with tomorrow, too.”

“She came in and hit some really timely shots for us, and then she just got on a roll,” Tuchscherer said of Thompson. “We’ve seen her do that before in a couple exhibition games, and even in a couple of conference games she’s hit four or five. She can get on that sort of role, and tonight, they were all important shots.”

Tuchscherer believes his team still has areas of its game to tighten up, though, most notably its ball-screen defence.

“I thought we really struggled with that, and we’ll have to do a better job tomorrow,” he said. “They’ll come out hungry, and we’ll have to be ready to come out strong again.”

BOUNCE PASSES: Thompson’s seven-trey outburst marks the fourth time a UFV women’s player has accomplished the feat in Canada West play. Aieisha Luyken did it twice (Nov. 13, 2010 vs. Victoria; Jan. 26, 2013 vs. UBC) and Sydney Williams once (Jan. 13, 2017 vs. Calgary). . . . The Cascades’ all-time record for threes in a game during the Canada West/U SPORTS era, including exhibition play, is held by Carmella Silvestri. She rained down 10 triples on the Capilano Blues on Oct. 13, 2007. . . . The Canada West mark for threes in a game is nine, held jointly by Caitlin Gooch (Winnipeg Wesmen, 2011), Cassie Cooke (Brandon Bobcats, 2013) and Jessie Brown (TWU Spartans, 2015).

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