Cascades forward Andrew Morris helped lead UFV to a big win over Alberta on Saturday. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Cascades forward Andrew Morris helped lead UFV to a big win over Alberta on Saturday. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

UFV men earn split against Alberta

Cascades men beat Golden Bears, women struggle against Pandas

The UFV Cascades men’s basketball team had a performance to remember on Saturday against the Alberta Golden Bears.

The club had already been humbled 99-69 by Alberta on Friday, but bounced back in a big way with an 80-73 win over the fifth-ranked Golden Bears on Saturday at home.

The Cascades were on fire in the first half, shooting 57 per cent from the field and 53 per cent from beyond the arc to lead 46-34 after two quarters. Alberta made a bit of a fourth-quarter push, but UFV managed to hold them off.

Forward Andrew Morris led the way with 21 points, with Parm Bains adding 13. Vick Toor added eight points, a team-high eight rebounds and eight assists in a solid all-around showing.

“We had a team talk after the game (Friday) where we told each other we were going to come with energy and play as a team, and that’s what we did,” Morris said. “We moved the ball around, we knocked shots down early, and the good start is really what pushed us.”

Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said the win was a big boost for team morale.

“It gives us confidence,” he said. “As a group, we’ve had to learn some things – learn what makes us successful versus top teams in this league. We’ve struggled with it some games, and other games we’ve been better. (Saturday), our competitiveness level was where it needs to be.”

The win came off a crushing defeat to those same Bears on Friday, in which Alberta shot 54 per cent for the game. Toor was the Cascades’ top scorer in that game, with 16 points and five rebounds.

UFV’s regular-season record now sits at 2-4. They next travel to Edmonton to battle the winless (0-6) MacEwan Griffins for games on Friday and Saturday. The club returns home for games against the UNBC Timberwolves on Nov. 23 and 24.

For the Cascades women, a record-breaking feat by forward Taylor Claggett wasn’t enough on Friday and the team’s early-season struggles continued on Saturday.

Claggett broke both a 36-year-old and 22-year-old Canada West record for most free throws made and attempted in a single regular-season game on Friday. The Mission native went to the charity stripe 24 times, making 20 of those attempts.

Despite those achievements, the Cascades fell 69-61 to the Alberta Pandas. UFV shot just 33 per cent on the game and made just five field goals in the first half.

“It’s kind of an ongoing issue for us right now – we’re having a really hard time scoring,” women’s head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “It’s something we’re going to have to mature into. We’re going to have to learn to score and learn where our spots are, and we don’t really know that right now.”

Claggett led the way with 30 points and eight rebounds on Friday.

The scoring woes continued on Saturday for the women, as they again shot just 33 per cent from the field in a 69-56 loss to the Pandas.

Forward Katelyn Mallette scored a team-high 13 points and grabbed a Cascades-best seven rebounds in the loss.

Foul troubles also haunted the Cascades, as Alberta went to the line 42 times, compared to just 19 for UFV.

Despite the loss, Tuchscherer said he thinks this type of adversity early in the season will pay off for his club.

“I’m proud of the girls – they’re getting some great experience now,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like good experience, but we’re getting a lot of young kids in and playing really significant minutes. Nobody’s giving up out there – they’re playing right to the end. Those are things that are going to serve us well down the road.”

The women also travel to Edmonton to battle the Griffins this weekend, and then return home to host UNBC on Nov. 23 and 24.

For more on both teams, visit gocascades.ca.