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UFV Sports Sunday – Women’s Basketball Sweep the Heat

Fraser Valley – (Dan Kinvig) – Women’s Basketball: Cascades secure season sweep of Heat, win 66-48

A dominant fourth quarter turned a close game into a blowout as the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team defeated the UBC Okanagan Heat 66-48 on Sunday afternoon in Kelowna.

The Cascades led throughout the second half, but the host Heat were within single digits at 48-41 heading to the final frame.

The fourth, though, was all UFV – the visitors outscored UBCO 18-7 in the quarter, smothering the Heat offence to secure a season sweep of their West Division rivals.

Maddy Gobeil set the tone for the Cascades, coming within a whisker of a triple-double with 16 points, 13 rebounds, and an eye-popping eight steals. Victoria Jacobse was the difference-maker in the fourth quarter, racking up 10 of her 13 points, and Natalie Rathler continued her outstanding play on the weekend with 13 points of her own.

The Cascades (7-1) are back in action on Thursday, taking on the division-leading Trinity Western Spartans (8-0) at the Langley Events Centre.

“As a whole, I thought those were two really important wins for us,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “It was a gutsy team effort both nights.

“You could start to see some of our defensive identity come out last night, and I thought that translated into today. I thought we were pretty solid defensively most of the game, and as a matter of fact, I felt that’s what held us in the game. Neither team was scoring early.”

Indeed, both teams started the game painfully slowly at the offensive end – they were deadlocked at 2-2 more than six minutes in. UFV perked up a bit as Rathler came off the bench to provide some scoring punch, and they led 12-7 after one.

The visitors would build a 32-26 lead at halftime, with Rathler and Gobeil scoring 11 points apiece in the half.

The Cascades led 48-38 late in the third quarter after a Julia Tuchscherer bucket in the paint, but UBCO’s Surprise Munie responded with a three-pointer from the right wing to make it 48-41 heading to the fourth.

Madison Draayers came off the bench to give the Cascades a spark, confidently drilling a pair of three-pointers early in the frame. Jacobse would go on to light the fuse on a 15-2 UFV run to put the game away – she reeled off 10 points during that decisive stretch.

Rookie standout Julia Tuchscherer stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Cascades, while Munie (12 points, 4-of-17 from the field) and Rachel Hare (10 points, eight rebounds) were UBCO’s double-digit scorers. Kelsey Falk hauled in a game-high 15 rebounds for the Heat, who fell to 4-6 in conference play.

UFV’s defence was dialed in throughout, limiting UBCO to 27.9 per cent shooting from the field, including 3-of-15 in the fourth quarter.

Afterward, Coach Tuchscherer noted the game-changing impact of Gobeil and Jacobse.

“Maddy had a really nice stat line last night, too, but she really wasn’t herself,” he said. “Tonight she was more like the Maddy we’ve come to expect. She was all over the floor offensively and defensively, making things happen. I’m really happy for her – she’d been out for 12 weeks (having missed the Cascades’ last three games before Christmas due to injury).

“And Vic was really key there in the fourth. She’d been on the bench for a few minutes, and she came in and was a breath of fresh air and really sealed the game for us.”

BOUNCE PASSES:

• The Cascades improved to 3-0 against the Heat this season, including a 71-67 win in Abbotsford on Oct. 29, and a 75-69 triumph on Saturday in the opening game of the weekend series in Kelowna.

• Gobeil’s eight steals are a Canada West season-high. The conference single-game record is 13, set by Lauren Taal of the Lethbridge Pronghorns against the Manitoba Bisons during the 2011-12 season.

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