The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team gave the University of California-Riverside Highlanders all they could handle in the first half of Monday’s exhibition game, only to watch the visiting NCAA Div. 1 squad step on the accelerator after the break.
After centre Jasper Moedt banked in a three-pointer to beat the second-quarter buzzer, the Cascades were within a point of the Highlanders at 33-32.
But the UC-Riverside offence hit high gear in the second half – after shooting just 33.3 per cent over the first 20 minutes, they knocked down 57.6 per cent of their shots the rest of the way, en route to an 81-61 victory.
“We gave them a great game in the first half,” UFV coach Adam Friesen noted. “They just out-shot us in the second half.”
The big men did much of the damage for UC-Riverside – 6’7” freshman Taylor Johns came off the bench to score 18 points and pull down 14 rebounds, while 6’10” Australian Chris Patton tied him for game-high scoring honours with 18 points and six boards. The Highlanders won the battle of the boards decisively, out-rebounding the Cascades 48-26.
Moedt, with 12 points and five rebounds, led UFV in both departments. Klaus Figueredo, with 11 points, was the only other Cascade to score in double figures, while newcomer Kadeem Willis, a transfer from Alberta’s Lakeland College, chipped in with nine points.
The UFV hoopsters are still two months away from their Canada West regular season opener – they host the Lethbridge Pronghorns and Calgary Dinos the weekend of Nov. 1-2.