Cascades pull away for 75-68 win over WolfPack

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A determined defensive performance and terrific offensive execution down the stretch powered the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team to a 75-68 road win over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Saturday.


The Cascades didn’t shoot the ball terribly well, converting just 38.8 per cent of their attempts from the field, but they limited the host WolfPack to 35.2 per cent shooting themselves. And they were money at the offensive end late in the fourth quarter, as great ball movement led to four assisted layups in the last four minutes of regulation.

UFV is the last undefeated team in the Canada West conference at 6-0, and they own a three-game lead in the Explorers Division standings. TRU is tied for second at 3-3 with the MacEwan Griffins and the Mount Royal Cougars.

Kevon Parchment set the pace offensively, scoring 17 points while playing the entire 40 minutes. And all three of the Cascades’ post players notched double-doubles: Nate Brown (12 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks), Kadeem Willis (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Jasper Moedt (10 points, 12 boards).

“It was definitely more of a grind,” noted UFV head coach Adam Friesen, whose team had an easier time of it on Friday when they opened an 18-point lead in the first half en route to an 83-73 win over the WolfPack.

“But we learned from our preseason, when we had a few games like this where we weren’t scoring as well as we’d hoped and it led to lapses in defence and rebounding. We learned from those preseason lessons, and we kept defending and rebounding to give ourselves a chance. And we found a way to make a few more plays than them in the final minutes to get the win.”

UFV’s biggest lead of the night was seven points, a cushion they built midway through the first quarter after reeling off a 7-0 run to go up 15-8. But Thompson Rivers scored to next seven points to knot the score, and it was a back-and-forth affair from there.

The Cascades led 35-33 at halftime, but Josh Wolfram sparked the WolfPack in a huge way at the start of the third quarter. The 6’10” forward poured in 11 quick points as the hosts surged ahead 48-39 midway through the frame. Wolfram would go on to finish with game-high totals of 24 points and 16 rebounds.

UFV responded with a dominant stretch of their own, ending the quarter on an 18-4 run to take a 57-52 lead into the fourth.

The WolfPack hung close, but the Cascades were surgical in their execution down the stretch. They sealed the deal on a pair of Willis baskets – first, he laid in an alley-oop pass from Vijay Dhillon with 1:30 remaining, and he finished a textbook pick-and-roll with Manny Dulay with 51 seconds left to push the lead to 74-68.

“We got high-percentage shots for most of the game, we thought, but we couldn’t put shots together,” Friesen analyzed. “Those days happen, particularly on the road. But defensively, we gave ourselves a chance to stay in the game.”

The Cascades had a marginal 36-33 edge in total rebounds, but 15 of their boards came at the offensive end, a fact which WolfPack head coach Scott Clark bemoaned afterward.

“We weren’t the greatest on the defensive glass and we need to be better,” Clark stated. “On your own glass, you can’t give them two or three chances at it. It is going to hurt you. Our level of defensive execution has to be better. Offensively, we got a bit panicky and it resulted in high-risk behaviour.”

The Cascades basketball teams wrap up their first-semester schedules at home next weekend vs. MacEwan. Games are Friday (some 6 p.m., men 8 pm.) and Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.) at the Envision Athletic Centre.

– with files from TRU Athletics

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