The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team got massive performances from their senior leaders in an eyebrow-raising blowout win to open the Canada West playoffs.
The Cascades, the fourth seed from the Pacific Division, knocked off the top team in the Prairie Division, the Saskatchewan Huskies, 83-64 on Friday in Game 1 of a best-of-three series in Saskatoon.
The game featured the top two scorers in Canada West – Huskies point guard Stephon Lamar (22.9 points per game) and Sam Freeman (21.6) of the Cascades. But fifth-year senior Freeman was decidedly the better of the two on Friday – he shot 10-for-14 from the field and 6-for-7 from beyond the arc en route to a game-high 26 points, while Lamar needed 20 shots to score 19 points.
The Cascades led 43-40 at halftime, but broke the game open in the third quarter, out-scoring the Huskies 27-10.
“We played very well tonight,” Cascades coach Adam Friesen said in a press release. “The guys executed our game plan perfectly. We have to remember it is only one game and they (Saskatchewan) will come out strong tomorrow night.”
UFV senior power forward Kyle Grewal had his best game since returning from an ankle/foot injury at the start of February, racking up 20 points and seven rebounds. Kevon Parchment chipped in with 17 points and a team-high nine boards, while point guard James York, UFV’s third senior, stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Huskies guard Andrew Henry accounted for all of his team-high 21 points on seven three-pointers, but he was the only Saskatchewan player dialled in from long distance. The Huskies went 9-for-31 from beyond the arc, which paled in comparison to the Cascades’ 13-for-29 performance.
“Our seniors played a very determined game tonight, they know this is their last playoff run at the CIS level,” Friesen said. “They proved tonight they will play hard and give 110 percent down the stretch.”
The Cascades can sweep the series with a win Saturday, and Game 3 (if necessary) would be on Sunday.
HUSKIES WOMEN AVOID SWEEP
The Cascades women’s hoopsters, coming off a 65-58 win over Saskatchewan in their best-of-three opener on Thursday, had a chance to complete the sweep on Friday.
But the Huskies had other ideas, limiting UFV to 32.1 per cent shooting from the field in a 67-56 triumph.
The Cascades also shot the ball poorly in Game 1, but they compensated by crushing the Huskies on the glass, out-rebounding the visitors 43-28.
Saskatchewan turned the tables in that department on Friday, out-boarding UFV 43-28.
Dalyce Emmerson (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Kelsey Trulsrud (10 points, 10 rebounds) both notched double-doubles for the Huskies, while Nicole Wierks (17 points) and Aieisha Luyken (12 points) were the only Cascades to score in double figures.
Game 3 goes at 7 p.m. at the Envision Athletic Centre on Saturday, with the winner moving on to the Canada West Final Four.