UFV’s Matt Cooley grabs a rebound during Canada West action against the TRU Wolfpack on Saturday. (Andrew Snucins/TRU Athletics)

Cascades basketball teams win streak reaches nine games

Men’s, women’s basketball teams jockeying for playoff positioning on final week

The UFV Cascades men’s and women’s basketball teams continued their scorching-hot runs over the weekend, and both teams have now won nine in a row.

The men improved to 12-6 this season, after two dominant wins over the Thompson River University Wolfpack in Kamloops.

Friday saw the Cascades score an impressive 59 points in the first half, en route to a 100-91 win.

Parm Bains had a game-high 26 points, which included shooting 6/12 from beyond the arc, to go along with eight assists. Vick Toor added 21 points and six rebounds. The Cascades as a team shot an excellent 54.3 per cent from the field and held TRU to just 42 per cent shooting.

“We knew they weren’t going to roll over,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said afterward. “We knew they were going to battle to the end, and that they did. In that third quarter, they seemed to hit every shot they took. They made the game really interesting, and I was proud of our guys for their response.”

Saturday’s game was more of a defensive battle, with the Cascades edging the Wolfpack 82-73.

UFV had a big game from Daniel Adediran, who collected 21 points and eight rebounds. Sukhjot Bains added 20 points and eight rebounds, while Matt Cooley had a strong performance with 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

Friesen was pleased with the result on Saturday.

“It took a full team effort, and it took something we struggled with the last few weeks – 40 minutes of focused, disciplined defence,” he stated. “The boys were pretty locked in for the full 40 tonight.”

The wins were crucial for the team, as they leapfrogged the Wolfpack in the Canada West standings. The Cascades now sit sixth in the conference.

The women continued rolling with a pair of big double- digit wins over TRU.

UFV exploded for 45 points in the second half of Friday’s game to score a lopsided 75-50 win.

Nikki Cabuco led the Cascades with 16 points in just 18 minutes off the bench, while the always-reliable Taylor Claggett added 12 points and 10 rebounds. UFV held TRU to just 24.6 per cent shooting in the game.

“I just think the pace of the game in the first half was maybe a little too frantic,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said afterward. “They got us into shooting some early shots we probably shouldn’t have taken. At halftime, we tried to calm down and be a little more patient offensively, and that really paid off in the second half.”

The Cascades again heated up in the second half of Saturday’s game, scoring 49 points to earn the 91-76 win.

Claggett led the way with 19 points and 12 boards, while Deanna Tuchscherer added 14 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. Maddy Gobeil, playing in her hometown, added 14 points and four assists. Cabuco also had another outstanding game with 19 points and five rebounds.

“We tried to just relax a little bit out there,” Tuchscherer said, reflecting on how his team turned the tide in the second half.

“When a team’s just hitting shot after shot, you get rattled a little bit. We told the team to relax at halftime and just focus on what we wanted to do. And then inevitably, they (TRU) cooled down a little bit too.”

RELATED: UFV rookies setting the pace

The wins move the Cascades to a sparkling record of 14-4, and they sit fifth overall.

The teams close out the regular season this weekend, with games on Friday and Saturday against the Regina Cougars. Start times are 6 p.m. for the women and 8 p.m. for the men on Friday, and 5 p.m. for the women and 7 p.m. for the men on Saturday.

Depending on how the weekend goes, the teams may receive a first-round playoff bye, as the top-four-ranked teams in each conference automatically advance to the quarter-final round.

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