From three-point land, the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades reduced the net to ashes.
The long-range accuracy of the Cascades was the biggest factor in an 82-47 victory against the UNBC Timberwolves in a Canada West womens basketball game played Saturday night in Abbotsford. The Cascades drained 15 of the 30 shots they attempted from beyond the arc, while the Timberwolves went just 3-for-14, which translated into a 36-point difference.
The Cascades, ranked fourth in the country, regularly hit three-pointers in transition and were even more deadly when they got set up in a half-court offence. All game, they used quick, smart passes to create open shots for themselves and then knocked them down. By the time the final buzzer sounded, UFVs Aieisha Luyken had 21 points off three-balls (7-for-13) and Courtney Bartel had 12 (4-for-5).
Defensively, the Timberwolves needed to get into the faces of Luyken and Bartel but didnt. The damage showed on the scoreboard inside the Envision Athletic Centre.
We did a really good job on their posts, but we couldnt do it all, said UNBC coach Loralyn Murdoch. I thought overall we played much better [than in a 67-42 Friday loss to the Cascades] but they killed us from the outside.
We identified who their shooters were at halftime and we didnt make the adjustment, Murdoch added. We actually came out very flat so we paid the price.
The Timberwolves were still in the game at the half, down 38-24. But, in the third quarter, the Cascades blitzed them early and started to pull away. The T-wolves ended up being outscored 28-11 in those 10 minutes of play.
We came out and it was hard to get our legs going again, Murdoch said. It was almost like we needed to come out after half and do a warm-up again because it took us too long to get our legs going and to get back into it. By the fourth quarter we did - we played very well in the fourth quarter but it was too late. And [the Cascades] are a really good team. Last week they were No. 1 in the country and theres a reason. They played very well.
With the exception of the first five minutes of the third quarter, the T-wolves never backed down against the Cascades. Even though they were behind almost all night, they battled in the paint at both ends of the floor and kept chipping into the UFV lead.
That was our goal, Murdoch said. We had a good team discussion about how its not about winning or losing, its about learning every time youre on the floor and never giving up. The wins will come with time, but we have to be that team that is scrappy and never gives up.
Fourth-year forward Jennifer Bruce led UNBC offensively with 13 points, while rookie post player Jasprit Nijjar contributed eight.
The Cascades, in first place in the Pacific Division, elevated their record to 13-3. The T-wolves dropped to 6-10.
The Timberwolves, fifth in the Pacific, will be in Victoria on Friday and Saturday for games against the fourth-place University of Victoria Vikes (11-5).