UFV Sports Saturday – Hoops Teams In Tough Against Bisons

Men’s Basketball (with files from Nik Kowalski, Bison Sports): Bisons mount fourth-quarter comeback to edge Cascades

The offence dried up at an inopportune time for the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team, as the Manitoba Bisons erased a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter and won 80-74 in Winnipeg on Saturday.

The Cascades (3-5) led by as many as 10 points in the final frame, but the Bisons (7-1) locked them down over the final six minutes of regulation, ending the game on a 16-1 run.

“They made more plays than us down the stretch,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen noted. “We battled hard but we lost momentum, and we weren’t able to find a way to get it back.

“They went to a zone (in the fourth quarter), and typically we’re a pretty good shooting team, so I don’t know how much that played into it. But we just lost the momentum. The pressure just keeps building and building, and if you’re not able to get it back, sometimes you lose those games.”

The first half featured back-and-forth action, with the Cascades taking a two-point lead (39-37) to the locker room after 10 lead changes over the first 20 minutes.

UFV opened the third quarter with a highlight-reel play as Vick Toor lobbed to Matt Cooley for an alley-oop, igniting a 16-7 run. But 10 points and two assists in the quarter from Keiran Zziwa kept the game within reach for Manitoba.

Rookie guard Vlad Mihaila swished a pair of treys early in the fourth as UFV built a 67-57 lead, and the margin was 73-64 after Toor slashed to the bucket for a layup with just over six minutes remaining. But the Cascades struggled on offence the rest of the way, and at the other end of the floor, Manitoba got into the bonus and scored the last eight points of the game at the free throw line.

“Fraser Valley is the best offensive team we’ve seen this year, and down the stretch we made a couple adjustments in the way we were guarding and fortunately they went dry at the right time,” Manitoba head coach Kirby Schepp said.

The Cascades were diminished by injuries on Saturday – starting guard Kenan Hadzovic wasn’t able to suit up, and Jordyn Sekhon exited late in the second quarter with an apparent leg injury.

Toor and Sukhjot Bains paced the Cascades with 15 points apiece, Parm Bains (14) and Matt Cooley (12) also scored in double figures, and Mihaila hit a trio of triples for nine points off the bench.

Zziwa was instrumental for the Bisons, scoring 22 points and adding six rebounds and five assists. Andre Arruda (17 points, 10 boards) had a double-double, and James Wagner (15) and Rashawn Browne (10) also scored in double figures.

The Cascades basketball teams now embark on the Christmas break, returning for a Jan. 3-4 doubleheader at home vs. the UBC Thunderbirds.

Women’s Basketball: Cascades batter Bisons on the boards, win 76-65

A blue-collar effort paved the way for the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team to conclude its 2019 conference schedule on a winning note, defeating the Manitoba Bisons 76-65 on Saturday evening in Winnipeg.

The Cascades (5-3) dominated the paint, outscoring the Bisons (3-5) by a 40-14 margin from close range while out-rebounding the hosts 59-39. Twenty-five of UFV’s boards came at the offensive end.

Four Cascades scored in double figures – Taylor Claggett (16), Deanna Tuchscherer (16), Jessica Parker (15) and Maddy Gobeil (14) – and Gobeil and Tuchscherer led the way on the glass with 15 and 13 rebounds, respectively.

“It was a real gritty effort tonight,” said Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer, whose team had dropped a 78-63 decision to the Bisons on Friday. “We rebounded the ball really well, and you could tell we played with a lot of determination. We battled for a lot of 50-50 balls. I thought we were a lot more mentally engaged tonight than maybe we were last night.”

The Cascades held a 21-19 lead at the end of the first quarter after Deanna Tuchscherer beat the buzzer with a three-pointer, but the Bisons hung tough and inched ahead 33-32 at halftime.

UFV opened the third quarter with an Amanda Thompson triple, igniting an 11-3 run to open the frame. The Bisons, though, would draw back to within 49-48 heading to the fourth.

But after struggling to make shots for most of the evening, the Cascades caught fire in the final quarter, pouring in 27 points to pull away. Rookies Tuchscherer and Parker did much of the damage down the stretch, scoring nine and eight points, respectively, in the fourth.

Thompson finished the game with nine points on 3-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc for the Cascades, and did an outstanding job at the defensive end limiting Manitoba’s Taylor Randall in the second half.

Lauren Bartlett (19 points) and Randall (17) set the tone offensively for the Bisons.

Coach Tuchscherer noted that the Cascades’ offensive execution was much sharper in the second half, and praised the night-to-night growth of his rookies.

“I don’t think Maddy or Parker were really happy with their performances on Friday, but they came out and played well tonight,” he noted. “And Deanna was big in the fourth quarter for us.

“When you’re a first-year and you’re asked to play some important minutes, you’ve got to figure it out. It’s not a league that’s particularly friendly to first-year kids, so you see a lot of up-and-down play for the most part. But it was nice to see them learn from Friday and be better on Saturday.”

The Cascades basketball teams now embark on the Christmas break, returning for a Jan. 3-4 doubleheader at home vs. the UBC Thunderbirds.

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