UFV’s Mark Johnson controls the ball against UBC’s Manroop Clair during Saturday’s game three. (UFV Athletics)

UFV eliminated in three by UBC

Men’s basketball team loses two straight after game one shocker

The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades men’s basketball team ultimately couldn’t match a lights-out shooting night Thursday, dropping two straight on Friday and Saturday to the UBC Thunderbirds to fall in the Canada West quarterfinals.

Saturday’s game was the do-or-die game three in the series, and the Cascades made just four shots in the first quarter, digging a 16-point deficit they were unable to come back from.

But, the team didn’t give up, scoring 27 points in the third to cut the T-Birds lead to nine points, but it wasn’t enough.

Cascades forward Andrew Morris, playing what would turn out to be his final game at the U Sports level, had a stellar game with a team-high 23 points and nine rebounds. Parm Bains added 16 points and five rebounds off the bench.

Men’s team head coach Adam Friesen appreciated his team’s efforts, especially after a poor start.

“We’ve been showing character all season,” he said. “It’s become who this group is, and who we want to continue to be moving forward. Things looked tough in the first quarter. But we were determined to keep going and believed we could make things interesting. And that’s what we did.”

Along with Morris, the team bid adieu to fifth-year seniors Mark Johnson and Nav Bains – both key pieces to the team during this playoff run.

“Our three seniors provided so much leadership throughout the year, both on and of the court, and gave every ounce of energy, spirit, and hard work they could muster up,” Friesen said. “We wouldn’t have had the season we ended up having without them leading this group.”

Friday’s game two saw the Cascades fall apart in the second half, managing just 22 points. UFV shot just 23 per cent in the third and fourth quarters to fall 85-58.

Johnson led the way with 19 points, while Morris was the only other Cascade to reach double figures with 11.

UBC was hot the entire game, shooting 44 per cent, while UFV shot just 33 per cent overall.

“They came out with a little more energy and made some good adjustments, and we didn’t capitalize as much as we’d like to,” Friesen said.

Thursday’s game one was an outstanding performance from the Cascades, as they shocked the T-Birds with a 92-79 win to open the best-of-three series.

UFV connected on a season-high 17 three-pointers, and shut the game down in the third quarter with a 28 point outburst.

Parm Bains (26), Sukhman Sandhu (21) and Sukhjot Bains (20) all topped 20 points, and Johnson was dominant on the boards with 18 rebounds to go with 17 points. Johnson was just two assists away from a triple-double in game one.

The Cascades shot an amazing 44 per cent from beyond the arc, and 41 per cent overall, while holding UBC to just 34 per cent.

UBC entered the series with the second best record in the Canada West at 17-3. The T-Birds now take on the Alberta Golden Bears in the next round.

For more on the team, visit gocascades.ca.

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