Gaels pull away from Cascades in fourth quarter


The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team hung with the Queen’s Golden Gaels for the better part of 40 minutes, but the visitors from Kingston, Ont.

pulled away down the stretch for a 75-61 victory.

In exhibition action on Friday afternoon at the Envision Athletic Centre, the Cascades held a 48-47 lead midway through the third quarter, but the Gaels stepped on the gas at that point, outscoring UFV 28-13 the rest of the way.

Queen’s got 18 points from Liz Boag and 14 from Emily Hazlett in the win, while Sarah Wierks paced the Cascades with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

“For us, it’s a work in progress,” said UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer, who felt his charges brought a more consistent level of competitiveness than they had the previous week when they went 0-3 at a preseason tournament hosted by the Regina Cougars.

“We want to be better this week than we were last week, and I think we were. I think we made some really good strides today, and I thought we competed for the majority of the game today. We made them earn the win.”

The Cascades and the Gaels both made it to the CIS Final 8 last spring – UFV won the bronze medal, while Queen’s lost both their games. But while the Cascades lost six players from last year’s roster, the Gaels boast more continuity.

That veteran seasoning became apparent down the stretch, as Queen’s was able to answer every UFV run with one of their own.

“They’re a really good squad, a lot of good pieces,” Tuchscherer said. “You could just see that veteran team pull away from us a little bit in the fourth quarter, and we couldn’t answer some of that stuff. We had some opportunities, but they’d make a play and we wouldn’t. It’s a testament to them – they’ve been there before.”

Nataliia Gavryliuk and Celeste Dyck chipped in with 13 points apiece for UFV.

UFV’s preseason basketball showcase series continues Friday evening with a men’s match-up between the Cascades and the Trinity Western Spartans. Tip-off is 7 p.m. in the North Gym. The series wraps up Saturday when the UFV women host the UBC Thunderbirds (5 p.m., Envision Athletic Centre).