Cascades struggle on the road against Kamloops

UFV men's, women's basketball teams fall to TRU Wolfpack

The UFV Cascades were swept away by the TRU Wolfpack on Friday and Saturday.

The men’s and women’s teams dropped all four games in Kamloops over the weekend, putting an end to the Canada West calendar year.

The UFV men trailed the full game on Friday, falling behind 25-15 in the first quarter and never recovering to lose 89-75. Vijjay Dhillon led the way for the Cascades with 26 points, and Matt Cooley had a team-high 10 rebounds.

The men’s team is struggling to win the battle of the boards, with injuries to key players Nate Brown and Mark Johnson. The Cascades were out-rebounded 48-38 on Friday.

“We are going to have to find a way to clamp down on defence,” said head coach Adam Friesen. “Offensively, things will always be tough for us currently. We need to find a way to get stops and limit rebounds.”

TRU triumphed 96-66 on Saturday, and shot 52 per cent from the field. Cooley and Dhillon had 13 points apiece.

The WolfPack seized control of the game from the get-go, building a 26-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, and they maintained a significant double-digit lead the rest of the way.

“We didn’t have our best performance out there tonight,” said Friesen. “Thompson Rivers were the better team, and they proved it this weekend.”

The men’s team record falls to five wins and three losses after the pair of games. They are in second place in the Explorer division.

The UFV women had Friday’s game tied early in the fourth quarter, but the Wolfpack went on a run to regain control and win 67-62.

Kayli Sartori led the way with 18 points, while Sydney Williams had a double-double, with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

“Really, a step back from us tonight with respect to our chemistry and how we flow [offensively],” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “I thought Thompson Rivers made us play at a different pace, and we regressed instead of adapted.”

Saturday was more of the same, as the Cascades struggled from the field, and lost 80-59.

The Cascades and WolfPack battled back and forth for most of the first quarter, but things started going sideways for UFV towards the end of the frame. TRU bridged the first and second quarters with an 11-0 run, headlined by a pair of three-pointers from Emma Piggin, thus turning what had been a 12-11 Cascades lead into a 22-12 WolfPack advantage.

The hosts would never trail again they led 42-25 at the break, and pushed the margin to 20 points late in the third quarter.

UFV shot 16 per cent from the three-point line and 35 per cent overall. Taylor Claggett had a team-high 20 points and nine rebounds in a losing cause. Her strong play earned the praise of her coach.

“Taylor battled hard tonight, and that was positive,” Tuchscherer said. “We intentionally looked for her more tonight we liked that match-up, and she got the job done. We need more effort like that.”

Tuchscherer said it was a disappointing trip.

“TRU played well, there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “But when you play good teams, they’re going to play well, and the idea is that you play well… You can’t be surprised by that, you can’t be deflated by that. And we were. We’ve got to figure that out.”

The women’s team now has a record of four wins and four losses, and they sit fourth in the Explorer division.

The teams are now off for Winter Break, until Jan. 8 when the Mount Royal Cougars come to Abbotsford.