The club led by as many as 26 points in the third quarter of Friday’s game, but saw that lead evaporate in the later stages.
Winnipeg tied the game in the dying seconds of regulation, and then edged the Cascades 12-10 in overtime to squeak away with a 90-88 win.
Andrew Morris led the Cascades with 24 points and nine rebounds, while Mark Johnson added 15 points and a team-high 12 boards.
Men’s team head coach Adam Friesen said his team didn’t respond well to Winnipeg’s increase in defensive intensity.
“When they turned on the (defensive) pressure, it was tough for us and we weren’t able to handle it overly well and got away from the stuff that got us the lead,” he said. “In the first half, we had lots of ball movement and player movement – we were making them have to move around (defensively) and do things. But once the intensity came in, the ball really stood still. Once we got passive, we couldn’t get back to the motion. It became a one-on-one game, and that’s not how we’re going to beat this team.”
Saturday’s game had a similar feel, as the Cascades saw a third quarter 21-point lead slide to just five points, but the club managed to hang on for the 67-59 win.
UFV held the Wesmen to just 30 per cent shooting, and had four players hit double figures in points. Johnson led the team with 18, while Daniel Adediran had a monster game with 11 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
“The guys showed a lot of character – we stayed with it defensively, and stayed a lot more disciplined than we have in the past against them,” Friesen said. “We’re fortunate to earn a victory down the stretch. Tonight we were better.”
The weekend proved to be a struggle for the women’s team, as they were swept on home court by Winnipeg.
The club fell behind early on Friday, and never recovered to lose 69-55.
Women’s team head coach Al Tuchscherer was not pleased with his team’s efforts.
“Our approach to tonight’s game was extremely poor,” he said on Friday. “We played with no toughness, particularly in the first quarter. We were looking for easy ways out all over the court tonight, and we’re simply not going to win any games against any level of competition, let alone a team like Winnipeg.”
Taylor Claggett and Shayna Litman led the team with matching 17-point, eight rebound performances.
Saturday saw Winnipeg run away with the game in the third quarter, en route to a 74-60 win.
Claggett had another solid offensive showing, collecting 20 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Guard Sara Simovic contributed with 12 points and seven rebounds.
The women’s record dropped to two wins and six losses after the pair of setbacks, and they are in 13th place in the Canada West.
The teams return to action tonight (Friday) and tomorrow for the final regular season games in 2017, as the UBC-O Heat come to town.
Games occur at 6 p.m. for the women and 8 p.m. for the men tonight, and then run at 5 p.m and 7 p.m. tomorrow.
The team’s next home game occurs on Jan. 5, 2018 when the TWU Spartans come to Abbotsford.
For more on the teams, visit ufvcascades.ca.