Cascades dominate fourth quarter, beat Mount Royal for 23rd straight regular season win


The scrappy Mount Royal Cougars had the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team on their heels in the third quarter on Friday, but these Cascades are cool under pressure.

After the visiting Cougars rallied to take a 51-50 lead, UFV took over, outscoring Mount Royal 22-9 in a stretch bridging the third and fourth quarters. They cruised from there, winning 84-69 at the Envision Athletic Centre for their 23rd consecutive Canada West regular season triumph.

The Cascades, ranked No. 9 in the nation, improved to 9-0 while the Cougars fell to 4-5.

Mount Royal’s Manok Atwal (No. 9) did his best to disrupt UFV’s Nate Brown on the fast break.

The two teams renew hostilities on Saturday (7 p.m., Envision Athletic Centre).

“They were the last team to beat us here in our own gym in conference play,” said UFV head coach Adam Friesen, alluding to Mount Royal’s 62-60 win in Abbotsford on Nov. 15, 2013. “They came out hard, and they’re a feisty group. Even though they’re a little bit undersized, we knew they’d be physical and make life really, really tough for us.”

The Cascades led by two points (20-18) after the first quarter, before pushing the lead up to double digits midway through the second.

The Cougars mounted a rally, though, reeling off a 9-2 run in the third quarter to go up 51-50.

But after Kevon Parchment hit one of two foul shots to tie it, Vijay Dhillon hit a three-pointer and a driving layup on consecutive possessions, and Manny Dulay capped the third quarter by hitting a buzzer-beating leaner from beyond the arc.

That gave the Cascades a 61-55 cushion heading to the final frame, and they expanded the lead as high as 16 points en route to victory.

Parchment paced UFV with 22 points and added eight rebounds, while Dulay poured in 18 points and Nate Brown notched 11 points and nine boards.

Manok Akwal replied with 19 points for the Cougars, and James Lefebvre chipped in with 14 points.

“We were getting the right shots, but they just weren’t falling,” Dulay said, analyzing his team’s struggles in the third quarter. “We started moving the ball a lot better in the fourth quarter, and we’re known for the fourth quarter. We just kind of pick it up a notch.”