Abbotsford (Dan Kinvig) – The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team went toe-to-toe with the Winnipeg Wesmen in a preseason shootout on Wednesday evening, with the visitors emerging with a 97-89 victory at the UFV Athletic Centre.
The offence, on this night? Incendiary.
The defence? Optional, as the two teams traded buckets throughout.
Ultimately, the Wesmen had five players score in double figures, paced by reigning Canada West player of the year Keylyn Filewich (29 points and 12 rebounds) and Kyanna Giles (20 points).
Sophomore standouts Maddy Gobeil (22 points, 10 rebounds, five assists) and Deanna Tuchscherer (20 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two blocks) led the way for the Cascades.
“Obviously an elite team like Winnipeg has some very dangerous weapons, and we didn’t defend it very well tonight at all,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “But then again, we haven’t seen that yet this season. So that gives us some context for what we’re trying to do defensively in practice, and some of the things we’ve been kind of talking about. It’s a good learning experience, and good for us to be part of a game like that.”
The Wesmen, a talented veteran squad favoured by many to win the CW title this season, raced out to a nine-point lead in the first quarter, but the Cascades rallied to grab a five-point edge (42-37) midway through the second after Nikki Cabuco converted a fast-break layup, plus the foul.
Filewich and Giles, though, led the visitors back, and they took a 52-47 lead into halftime after Faith Hezekiah’s three-pointer capped a 9-2 run.
The Wesmen stretched the lead to double-digits in the third quarter, answering every UFV surge with a mini-run of their own.
The Cascades made one last late run in the fourth quarter, closing to within 94-89 after Alexis Worrell’s layup with just over a minute left, but Winnipeg fended them off down the stretch.
“I’m not sure if it’s going to be a trend for us, that we can score that much, but we do have some kids that know how to score the ball a little bit,” Al Tuchscherer noted. “That’s nice. But again, some key turnovers when we’re trying to make a little bit of a run that you just can’t make. You take out those unforced errors away, take the scouting-report errors away, and you’re in a tighter ballgame.”
Cabuco chipped in with 11 points and five assists for the Cascades, Worrell scored nine points, Victoria Jacobse stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, eight rebounds and three assists, and Julia Tuchscherer registered seven points, nine boards, and four assists.
Robyn Boulanger and Hezekiah had 16 points apiece for Winnipeg, and Hezekiah had a double-double with 10 rebounds. Anna Kernaghan also hit double digits with 10 points.
Winnipeg shot 45.5 per cent from the field but struggled from the free throw line, shooting 20-for-36. UFV shot 43.5 per cent from the field and 18-for-22 from the line.
Up next for the Cascades is a preseason tournament hosted by UVic this weekend. They face the defending national champion Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday, and the host UVic Vikes on Saturday.