The closely fought Saturday night's game in Abbotsford, saw the visiting UBC Okanagan women's basketball team unable to take out the 2013-14 CIS medalists and fall (77-65) to UFV.
Women's Basketball (Canada West conference play)
|UBC Okanagan (4-10)||16||13||17||19||65|
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – For a second straight night the UBC Okanagan women's basketball team got strong performances from starting guards Jessica Jazdarehee and Sarah Allison only to be overshadowed by UFV's twin towers – Sarah Wierks and Katie Brink – as the host Cascades completed a weekend sweep of the UBC Okanagan Heat on Saturday.
Third-year power forward Brink (6'1") poured in a career-high 27 points on 11-of-20 shooting in the 77-65 victory at the Envision Athletic Centre, gashing the Heat defense with a mix of gritty baseline drives and smooth mid-range jumpers.
Fifth-year centre Wierks (6'2"), who moved into second place on the all-time Canada West rebounding list in Friday's 70-67 win over UBC Okanagan, put together one of the most impressive stat lines of her career. She had a huge double-double with 22 points and 19 rebounds, and added seven blocked shots and four steals.
Four the fourth straight time the Cascades were unable to defend Jazdarehee as the third year guard finished with a team high 19 points and was second on the team with six rebounds. In the four contests versus UFV Jessica averaged 17.25 points per game. Allison, for the second straight night, scored 15 points and added five boards as the Heat hung tough on the glass with their larger opponents. The rebounding edge went to UFV by four (46-42). Friday night the Heat were out-rebounded 47-39.
The Heat have played the Cascades tough all year, and Saturday's game was no different. UFV raced out to an early 15-2 lead, but UBC Okanagan finished the first quarter on a 14-2 run of their own, and they built a 29-25 lead at halftime.
The Cascades got off to a good start in the third quarter and surged ahead 49-46 heading into the fourth, and they closed out the Heat thanks to a 13-3 run midway through the final frame. The Heat allowed the Cascades to score 52 points in the final 20 minutes on 54.8% shooting and 14-17 from the free throw line. Although UBC Okanagan had 50 shots in the second half knocking in 10 of them was their downfall on Saturday.
“UBC O, for as long as I can remember," said Fraser Valley head coach Al Tuchscherer to Dan Kinvig following the game, "[The Heat] always give us challenging games. They’re never blowouts – they’re always right there, they’re gritty and they get after it. It’s a tough match-up for us – they have some quick little guards out there.”
“I’m happy we escaped the season with four wins, and we don’t have to play them again this year." added Tuchscherer.
UFV improved to 8-6, good for third in the Explorer Division, and now have a three game lead on the third and final playoff spot with six games left on their schedule.
Meanwhile UBC Okanagan dips to 4-10 and will need to win at least five of six, more likely all six of their final games and get a lot of help from teams around the league to have a shot at the playoffs.
The Cascades hit the road to face the Mount Royal Cougars this coming weekend; the Heat host the division leading Thompson Rivers WolfPack. Those games will be this coming Friday and Saturday (Jan. 30-31) and will decide the President Cup between the two BC Interior universities.
Tip-off for next weekend's UBC Okanagan games at the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium is Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m.
HEAT NOTES: Statistical oddity, UBC Okanagan took 23 more shots than UFV (84-61).....UBC Okanagan's bench outscored their Cascade counterparts 13-1....
~ With notes from Dan Kinvig (Communications Coordinator | University of the Fraser Valley Cascades)