On Friday night, the UFV Cascades came out hot, had a slow second quarter, and used a big third quarter to pull away from the UNBC Timberwolves. Rinse and repeat Saturday night at the Northern Sport Centre, as Matt Cooley’s triple-double propelled the Cascades to an 85-58 win to complete the weekend sweep over the T-wolves.
In the opening quarter, the Cascades came out firing as Parm Bains set the tone with a three-pointer on the opening possession. The Timberwolves would settle down, as second-year guard Chris Ross scored seven points in the quarter, but UNBC found themselves trailing 20-16 after ten minutes.
In the second quarter, UNBC chipped away at the Cascades advantage, as freshman Fareed Shittu was able to finish two dunks in a three-minute span. However, the ball movement of Fraser Valley continued to give the T-wolves trouble, as post Matt Cooley was able to find cutting teammates for easy baskets. At the half, the Cascades held a 43-33 lead.
“Just having shooters around me just opens up my game. Having clutter just makes it a lot easier for a guy that’s willing to pass, like me, through the high post,” said Cooley. “It just makes the game a lot easier for me.”
Much like Friday night, it was the third quarter that was the story. The Timberwolves went ice cold at the offensive end, while the Cascades started to get hot. Parm Bains showed why he is as good a shooter as there is in the conference, making a pair of three-pointers, while Jaskam Bajway found space in the corner, draining two of his own. The visitors led 62-47 after the frame.
“I thought we brought a lot of energy when we were guarding on the ball tonight,” said Ross. “Last night, they were getting a lot of easy dishes and finishes around the rim. So we started to solve that problem, but they were still making shots from all over.”
Shittu made UNBC history in that third quarter, registering his 95th rebound of the season. That marked the highest single season total for a T-wolves’ freshman, passing Navjot Bains, who went on to play for the Cascades. Even more impressive was that Shittu achieved the feat in his 12th game, while Bains took 22 games to reach it in the 2012-2013 season.
In the fourth quarter, UFV created some history of its own, thanks to the overall game of big man Matt Cooley. Late in the game, he registered his 10th assist of the contest, completing the triple double, with 14 points and 13 rebounds. The achievement was the first of its kind in UFV men’s basketball history.
“I feel fantastic. Being a fifth-year and coming out here, it’s obviously fantastic to get a triple-double,” said Cooley. “I was obviously aware of it. My guys were rooting me on from the bench. This is a first for me.”
Cooley’s triple-double led the way for UFV, who also got 23 points from Parm Bains who went 5-for-17 from long range. Sukhjot Bains and Jaskam Bajwa also scored in double figures.
“He’s a big body, so he was taking some of our posts down low, and he was hitting with that. We had to help on that, and he was looking guys off, making passes inside and outside,” said UNBC’s Chris Ross. “They have a whole bunch of shooters, so it really spaces the floor for him and he has a lot of room to operate.”
Tyrell Laing was the T-wolves’ leading scorer, registering 20 points. Shittu would finish with the 13 point, 10 rebound double double.