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UFV Sports Saturday – Cascades Hoops Didn’t Get An Early Xmas Present

Men’s Basketball: Cascades close out pre-Christmas schedule with loss at Lethbridge

The Lethbridge Pronghorns caught fire offensively in the second and third quarters, on their way to a 101-75 victory over the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team on Saturday evening.

Playing on the road, the Cascades got off to a terrific start, going 6-for-12 from beyond the arc in the first quarter and building a 28-24 lead at the end of the frame.

But the middle quarters were dominated by the hosts – Lethbridge outscored UFV 27-13 in the second and 28-14 in the third to break the game open.

The Pronghorns (10-2) earned their Canada West-leading 10th win, while the Cascades wrap up their pre-Christmas schedule with a 4-8 record in conference play.

“We really began playing at their pace,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen said, analyzing where things went sideways in the middle stages on Saturday. “They got us playing the way they want the game to be played, and they did a good job capitalizing. They shot the ball fantastic, and when you play a good team like that, it’s tough to come out with a win.”

The Cascades were missing sophomore forward Daniel Adediran, the team’s third-leading scorer, due to injury on Saturday, but they started brightly. Mark Johnson, who has been absolutely on fire from three-point range of late, went 3-of-5 from the land beyond in the first quarter as the visitors surged into the lead.

But the Pronghorns opened the second quarter on a 20-4 run, powered largely by Dejon Burdeaux’s ability to get to the free throw line. Lethbridge’s star guard went 10-for-10 from the line during that stretch – part of a night-long parade to the charity stripe by the Pronghorns which saw them amass an eye-popping 29-4 edge in free throw attempts.

The Cascades were within 51-41 at halftime, but the Pronghorns began the third quarter on a 16-3 run and cruised from there.

A bright spot for UFV was the play of Kenan Hadzovic. The 17-year-old rookie point guard busted out of a shooting slump in a big way, swishing 6-of-9 attempts from downtown en route to a career-high 20 points in 24 minutes off the bench.

“Kenan was terrific,” Friesen said. “He’s been playing well the whole semester, he’s just been learning the league as a young player and getting comfortable. But he plays excellent defence and makes players around him better. For him to find his groove shooting the ball was awesome. The second semester should be really good for him.”

Johnson had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds while shooting 5-of-9 from beyond the arc, and Andrew Morris chipped in with 10 points.

Burdeaux got 14 of his team-high 24 points at the free throw line, Saren Westrop had 23 points off the bench, and Kyle Peterson scored 22 for the hosts.

UFV won the rebounding battle 40-33, but turned the ball over 27 times compared to just 13 for Lethbridge.

The Cascades return to action in the new year with a home-and-home set vs. the Trinity Western Spartans. The two programs face off on Thursday, Jan. 4 at the Langley Events Centre, and return to UFV’s Envision Financial Athletic Centre on Friday, Jan. 5.

Women’s Basketball: Cascades’ comeback falls short, Pronghorns prevail 82-74

A shorthanded University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team forth a gritty effort on the road Saturday, but the Lethbridge Pronghorns fended them off down the stretch to prevail 82-74.

With Veronica Kobes unavailable due to injury and Taylor Claggett going down during Friday’s 75-56 loss to the Pronghorns, UFV bench boss Al Tuchscherer had just eight healthy players at his disposal for Saturday’s rematch.

In spite of that, the Cascades hung with the first-place Pronghorns throughout, with the hosts finally pulling away in the dying minutes.

Lethbridge (10-2) picked up its Canada West-leading 10th win behind 23 points from Kacie Bosch, while UFV fell to 4-8 despite a 21-point outburst from ex-Pronghorn Sara Simovic.

“I think we can all look at this game feeling happy with our bounce-back tonight, happy with our effort and compete level, and really, even how we executed,” Tuchscherer said. “I think the difference was, we made a number of key mistakes down the stretch that are just characteristic of a young team.”

The Pronghorns led 19-16 after the first quarter and 44-33 at halftime, but the Cascades opened the third quarter on an 11-4 run – capped by an and-one layup by Kate Head – to trim the deficit to 48-44.

Lethbridge responded with a 12-2 surge of their own, but UFV mounted a fourth-quarter push that saw them draw to within 73-68 after Amanda Thompson’s trey with 2:44 left. Cascades guard Victoria Jacobse stole a Pronghorn pass on the ensuing possession, but her driving layup on the fast break missed, and she fouled Bosch on a three-pointer on the next trip. Bosch made two of three from the charity stripe to push the lead to 75-68, and later on, she swished a triple to make it 80-72 and effectively snuff UFV’s comeback effort.

Simovic, who spent the first two seasons of her post-secondary hoops career with the Pronghorns, scored 16 of her team-best 21 points in the second half. Thompson also stepped up in Claggett’s absence, scoring in double figures for the first time in Canada West play this season. Her 15 points came in exceedingly efficient fashion – she hit 4-of-5 from the field including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-4 from the free throw line.

Shayna Litman (12 points, seven rebounds) and Katelyn Mallette (10 points) also chipped in offensively for the Cascades.

More than half of Bosch’s team-high output came at the free throw line, where she was 12-of-16. Zoe Dahl notched 21 points for the hosts, going 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.

It was the last conference game of 2017 for the Cascades, who return to action in the new year with a home-and-home set vs. the Trinity Western Spartans. The two programs face off on Thursday, Jan. 4 at the Langley Events Centre, and return to UFV’s Envision Financial Athletic Centre on Friday, Jan. 5.


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