UBC Okanagan fell victim to the Fraser Valley Cascades on Saturday as the top team in the Explorer Division won their 26th in a row at the expense of the young Heat (79-65).
Men’s Basketball (Canada West conference play)
|UBC Okanagan (2-12)||14||17||21||13||65|
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – In spite of the outstanding effort from rookie Buzz Truss UBC Okanagan succumbed to the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team as the undefeated Cascades cruised to a 79-65 victory over the Heat on Saturday evening, clinching a playoff berth in the process.
Truss scored a career best 18 points in the Canada West conference game, the 6-4 forward in his first year out of Kelowna Secondary, added five rebounds and four assists in 36 minutes on the floor. Staring for the twelfth time this season Truss also hit both of his attempts from long range, going 2-2 from three.
Buzz’s teammate from high school Mitch Goodwin – they played together at KSS in Mitch’s senior year (2011-12) – finished with 15 points.
Mitch’s backcourt running mate Aldrich Berrios did not have the stat line that he did on Friday night but the freshman impressed again on Friday night as he logged 33 minutes running the UBC Okanagan offense. The Notre Dame product is averaging 34 minutes a game, sixth most in the conference.
Notable for his absence was UBC Okanagan’s leading point getter David Manshrek (16.1 ppg., 6.9 rpg.), who after playing extremely well on Friday night (16 pts., 7 rbs.) in his first action of 2015 was unable to go in back to back games due to injury.
The No. 7 Cascades were led by Kevon Parchment, with a game-high 19 points, and Jasper Moedt, was tough to control, he finished with a huge double-double (17 points, 15 rebounds), as the Cascades improved to 14-0 and officially ensured they’ll get a taste of Canada West post-season action.
Head coach Adam Friesen’s squad is also closing in on clinching first place in the Explorer Division – they own a six-game lead on the Thompson Rivers WolfPack (8-6) with six games remaining for both teams, and can lock it up next weekend if they’re able to win at least one of their road games vs. the Mount Royal Cougars.
UBC Okanagan record dips to 2-12 can ill afford to lose anymore games if they hope to earn a spot in the postseason will begin their quest next weekend when they host the second place Thompson Rivers WolfPack next weekend (Jan. 30-31). Currently third place is owned by the 7-7 UNBC Timberwolves whom the Heat close out the regular season against on February 13-14.
The action next weekend at UBC Okanagan Gymnasium will tip-off on Friday night at 8 p.m., the rematch is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Super Bowl Eve, evening.
“We played a good 40 minutes, and we played a lot better than yesterday,” Parchment said afterward, alluding to his team’s 73-66 win over UBC Okanagan on Friday. “We were moving the ball around and really listed to the game plan.”
That game plan, according to Friesen, emphasized doing a better job on the boards. The Cascades boast a distinct height advantage on the Heat, but they had only managed a 42-41 edge in the rebounding department on Friday. They won that category on Saturday, out-boarding the Heat by 15 (45-30).
“The pregame talk was about performing better on the boards,” Friesen said. “We thought we had an advantage there, and we didn’t really take advantage of it yesterday. Today we did that.”
The Cascades came out scorching from long range – Parchment, Dominique Brooks, Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon each knocked down three-pointers in the first five minutes of the first quarter, powering the Cascades to an early 13-4 lead with the slow UBC Okanagan start.
The Heat allowed UFV to stretch the margin as high as 18 points in the second quarter, and trailed 47-31 at half.
The Heat carved a 22-point third-quarter deficit down to nine points after Mitch Goodwin’s three-pointer with 7:59 left in regulation, but the Cascades responded with a quick 9-0 spurt, highlighted by a pair of Moedt buckets in the paint, to negate the UBC Okanagan run.
The Kelowna team were unable to make another run as they didn’t have the feel for the three on the night, making just 6-27 from long range on the night. The 22.2% on threes was their lowest mark on the season and only the fourth time all year they were held under 30%.
Brooks and Dhillon notched 11 points apiece for UFV, while Nate Brown finished one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 10 boards.
It was the Cascades’ 28th straight victory in Canada West regular season play, a streak which dates back to November 2013.
HEAT NOTES: Brian Ademba, the 6-8 forward from Kenya, dressed for the first time this weekend in Abbotsford….He scored his first Canada West points with 3:10 left in the game….Fraser Valley natives, who played essentially a home game with so many friends and family in the stands, Cam Servatius and Cam Friesen played well in front of the crowd. Rookie Servatius played 22 minutes and scored six points….Friesen logged 39 minutes and scored nine points…..
~ With notes from Dan Kinvig (Communications Coordinator | University of the Fraser Valley Cascades)