The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades women’s basketball team stepped up in a crucially important weekend, sweeping the UBC Thunderbirds in Vancouver on Friday (Feb. 3) and Saturday (Feb. 4).
The pair of wins could prove to be valuable, as the team heads into the final weekend of Canada West regular season action before the playoffs.
A dominant second quarter on Friday saw the Cascades outscore UBC 23-9 and that paced them to a 68-59 win.
Maddy Gobeil led the way with 16 points, while Natalie Rathler added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The third quarter was when the Cascades took over the game on Saturday, outscoring the Thunderbirds 16-8 and earning a 73-65 win.
Gobeil again was the top scorer with 21 points and also collecting six rebounds, five steals and four assists. Nikki Cabuco contributed with 18 points, including making four of eight three-point shots.
Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said it was a team win on Saturday.
“I thought it was a really good team effort tonight,” he said. “We kind of know what we are going to get with Maddy [Gobeil], and Julia [Tuchscherer], but tonight we saw some other people stepping up. Nikki [Cabuco] was fantastic tonight, and I thought Google [Sidhu] was very good tonight as well.”
The women’s record now sits at 13-5 and they are in a logjam near the top of the CW. The team has qualified for the playoffs, but this weekend’s results will determine where they finish. The Cascades close the season by hosting the first place Saskatchewan Huskies (16-2) on Friday (Feb. 10) and Saturday (Feb. 11).
“We are really excited to play Saskatchewan and be tested by them,” Tuchscherer stated. “That’s obviously one of the premiere programs in the country, and I think it’s a great way for us to enter the playoffs being challenged that way and having to be on the top of our game to compete with them.”
The men’s team dropped games on Friday and Saturday to UBC and have now lost four straight.
Friday’s game got away from the Cascades in the second quarter, as UBC began the second on a 10-2 run. They added an 18-6 run in the third and earned the 92-68 win.
Dylan Kinley and Courtney Anderson led UFV with 12 points apiece, while Chris Jackson added 11 rebounds.
Saturday was a better effort for the Cascades, but UBC hung on for the 93-83 win. The Cascades made several pushes, but UBC’s 45 per cent shooting was too much.
Anderson scored a team-high 27 points, while Dario Lopez added 18 points.
UFV’s record falls to 7-11 on the season and they sit in 12th place. The top 12 teams make the playoffs, but this weekend’s results will determine if the Cascades qualify.
Cascades head coach Joe Enevoldson said this coming weekend will be a test for his team.
“We’ve played two of the top-10 teams in the country in back-to-back weekends on the road and shown that we can compete with them, especially on a Saturday night,” he said. “Now we have to put it all together when we come home next weekend against Saskatchewan and play both nights with a sense of urgency.”
For more on the teams, visit gocascades.ca.