T-Birds nip Cascades in OT

Kris Young

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The UBC Thunderbirds staged a furious rally to edge the University of the Fraser Valley 70-64 in overtime on Saturday.

In exhibition women’s basketball action at UFV’s Envision Athletic Centre, the Cascades held a five-point lead with less than two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but the T-Birds battled back and tied the score 58-58 on Diana Lee‘s banked-in three-pointer with 23.5 seconds remaining.

After the Cascades came up empty on their last possession of regulation, the T-Birds outscored UFV 12-6 in the extra frame.

The hosts held the T-Birds to 34.7 per cent shooting from the floor, and out-rebounded them 43-36.

In overtime, the T-Birds scored the first four points, but the Cascades authored a quick 6-0 run to reclaim the lead. Sarah Wierks was fouled while making a layup, then grabbed the rebound off her own missed foul shot and put it back in off the glass. Then Nataliia Gavryliuk hit a driving layup to put UFV up 64-62.

But those were the last points the Cascades would score – UBC’s Kris Young responded with a three-pointer, and her backcourt mate Lee got a steal on UFV’s next possession and finished the sequence with an old-fashioned three-point play.

Young, the 2013 Canada West player of the year, finished with a game-high 20 points and nine rebounds, while Harleen Sidhu notched 17 points and Lee scored 15.

Cascades third-year forward Katie Brink turned in a gritty, physical effort, scoring a team-high 16 points and hauling down eight rebounds. Wierks and Celeste Dyck registered 14 points apiece, while Gavryliuk scored 13.

The Thunderbirds will travel to Toronto to take part in Ryerson’s Darcel Wright Memorial Memorial Classic. The team opens the tournament on Friday against the York Lions at 1 p.m. PT.