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UFV Sports Friday

Abbotsford, BC (Russell Arbuthnot, UFV Cascades communications staff) – Men’s Basketball: Cascades dominate fourth quarter, rally past T-Wolves: The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team rescued a 63-56 victory from the jaws of defeat on Friday evening, staging a massive fourth-quarter rally to turn aside the UNBC Timberwolves.

The Cascades trailed by 14 points with less than two minutes left in the third quarter, but outscored the T-Wolves 27-10 in the final frame to send the fans at the Envision Athletic Centre home happy.

The victory boosted UFV’s record to 7-4, two games clear of the MacEwan Griffins and UBC Okanagan Heat for second place in the Explorer Division. UNBC is sixth in the Explorer Division at 3-8.

The two teams wrap up their weekend set on Saturday (7 p.m., Envision Athletic Centre).

“Really, we just didn’t turn it over or allow offensive rebounds (in the fourth quarter),” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said afterward, reflecting on the comeback. “We gave ourselves a chance to score every possession, and we were able to find a rhythm.”

Friday’s first quarter was closely contested as neither team was able to take control of the game, and the Timberwolves, despite shooting just 25 per cent from the field, took a 13-11 lead into the second quarter.

The Cascades managed to keep Rhys Elliott, the second-leading scorer in Canada West coming into the game, largely in check throughout the first half. But Marcus MacKay, UNBC’s third-year guard, picked up the slack. In the second quarter he settled in, found his range and poured in nine points from behind the arc. The T-Wolves also took advantage of UFV’s 13 turnovers in the half, finding 15 points off the errors to take a 34-27 halftime lead.

A three-pointer from UNBC’s Billy Cheng late in the third quarter would stretch the lead to 14 before UFV began to claw back near the end of the frame.

A 15-2 run, bookended by two Nate Brown layups, drew the home side to within two points early in the fourth. The next few minutes looked much like the opening quarter as each team took turns holding the lead before UFV went ahead for good on some clutch defence and free throw shooting.

UFV made three key stops and Brown, Vijay Dhillon and Manny Dulay combined to go 8-for-9 from the line in the final four minutes of play. For the game, the Cascades shot 88.2 per cent (15-for-17) from the charity stripe.

Dhillon led the Cascades’ offensive charge, finishing with 18 points. Kevon Parchment provided once again for UFV, notching 16 points and pulling down 12 rebounds to round out his double-double, while Dulay posted 15 points and six assists, with just one turnover.

UNBC’s MacKay went 5-for-12 from three-point range en route to 19 points, while fifth-year forward Colin Plumb had 11 points and eight boards. Elliott also finished with 11 points, half his season average.

The Cascades had a strong defensive outing, limiting UNBC to 27.1 per cent shooting from the field. They were particularly stingy in the second half, as the T-Wolves went 6-for-30 from the field (20 per cent).

“Our intensity picked up,” Friesen said. “It’s a combination of playing better defence, but we also got fortunate at the same time. They had some good looks that just didn’t drop tonight.”

Women’s Basketball: T-Wolves knock off Cascades 63-47

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team discovered on Friday evening that the UNBC Timberwolves’ win-loss record isn’t indicative of their ability.

The T-Wolves came in with a 1-9 record, but had the Cascades on their heels throughout the first half and built a 40-20 lead at the break. UFV tried to fight their way back into it in the second half, but the deficit was too much to overcome, and the visitors came away with a 63-47 victory.

It was a historic effort for the T-Wolves, who earned their first-ever win over the Cascades and matched their team record for fewest points allowed since joining CIS in 2012.

UFV, meanwhile, lost the rebounding battle 57-33 and struggled to generate offence, shooting just 22.4 per cent (13-for-58) from the field and 8.7 per cent (2-for-23) from beyond the arc.

The Cascades (6-5) get another crack at UNBC (2-9) on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. at the Envision Athletic Centre.

“I thought UNBC was fantastic tonight,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “They defended really well, they had a lot of energy, they hit shots, and they got a lot of momentum going in the right direction. Once they started hitting shots, they started hitting tough shots, and then they started hitting everything. And we just could not get it going, particularly offensively.

“The second half, we battled pretty hard. That’s something we need to do moving forward.”

The Timberwolves quickly jumped out to a 9-2 lead, and after the Cascades cut the deficit to 13-9, the visitors ended the opening frame on a 10-0 run. UFV tried desperately find both its rhythm and an answer to UNBC’s Maria Mongomo. The guard, hailing from Las Palmas, Spain, dumped in 12 points in the first quarter, including two from beyond the arc to pace the visitors.

UFV’s woes continued in the second quarter, and they carried an underwhelming 19.2 shooting percentage into the locker room at halftime.

The Timberwolves, for their part, went 15-for-33 on field goals while hauling down 28 rebounds to UFV’s 13 over the first two quarters, all culminating in a commanding 40-20 lead.

An 11-2 run for UFV in the latter stages of the fourth quarter drew them to within 11 points, but the T-Wolves fended off their rally.

Mongomo led the UNBC charge offensively, finishing with 18 points and nine rebounds on the night. The Timberwolves also saw a strong performance from second-year guard Hannah Pudlas, who registered 11 points and 14 boards en route to a double-double.

UFV’s Kayli Sartori registered a double-double of her own with 14 points and 10 boards, to go with seven steals and four blocks. Fifth-year guard Shayna Cameron chipped in with 12 points.

Men’s Volleyball: Mariners sink Cascades in three sets

Coming off their most impressive win of the season, the University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team weren’t able to reach the same heights against the Vancouver Island University Mariners on Friday.

Playing on the road in Nanaimo, the Cascades suffered a straight-sets defeat (25-15, 25-21, 25-8) at the hands of the Mariners, who seized sole possession of third place in the PacWest by virtue of the victory. VIU improved to 9-6, while UFV fell to 8-7.

The Cascades, ranked No. 13 in the nation, will aim to get back on even terms with the Mariners on Saturday, as they wrap up the weekend series. Start time is 3 p.m.

Friday’s performance was in stark contrast to the Cascades’ showing last Saturday in a five-set victory over the previously undefeated, reigning national champion Camosun Chargers.

“You could call it a bit of a reality check in some ways,” UFV head coach Kyle Donen said. “We haven’t accomplished anything yet. We beat the best team in the country last week, but we need to strive to be better every day. This was a learning experience for us, and we need to use it as fuel for the fire to get better tomorrow, and over the next couple weeks as well.”

The Cascades were without standout libero Isaiah Dahl – he was injured in practice on Thursday and was unable to suit up. Rookie Evan Bell-Foley stepped in, and in Donen’s estimation, did a commendable job under the circumstances.

But little else went right for the visitors on this night.

“The short story is, we did not play well,” Donen said. “We didn’t have it tonight. Credit them – they did some good things and took advantage of our awful play. We know we need to be better.

“It was definitely a performance that we want to move past. We know we’re capable of being better than we showed tonight.”

Women’s Volleyball: Cascades start strong, but Mariners prevail in four sets

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team got off to a promising start on the road against the No. 2-ranked team in the nation, but the Vancouver Island University Mariners seized control of the match and won in four sets.

The Cascades won the first set in decisive fashion, 25-15, but the Mariners bounced back to win the next three 25-9, 25-20, 25-12.

VIU ran its PacWest-leading record to 13-2, while UFV fell to 6-9. The two teams tangle again on Saturday in Nanaimo, starting at 1 p.m.

“At times today, we were definitely running the fastest offence we’ve run,” Cascades head coach Mike Gilray said.

“We were serving well and very consistent in the first set, and then they turned around and did the same to us. The first set, we were able to keep their best player (middle Tylar Turnbull) on the bench as she rotated through the back row, but the rest of the game she played extremely well.”

Left side Kelly Robertson was effective early to spark the Cascades to victory in the first set, but UFV started slowly in the second and allowed the Mariners to regain their rhythm.

VIU jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third set, but the Cascades caught fire at that point and rallied to take  a 19-17 lead. The Mariners, though, responded with a 4-0 run and closed out the set, then cruised in the fourth.

Veteran UFV middles Monique Huber and Mandelyn Erikson missed the game due to injury, pressing rookies Keira Fisher and Brielle Campbell into the starting lineup.

“They did well,” Gilray said. “They were up against a very strong team, and they didn’t let down. They did very good things today, and helped us be competitive to start. We just need to be more consistent on the passing side of the ball.”

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