MBB: ‘Birds dominate Cascades for second straight win

MBB: ‘Birds dominate Cascades for second straight win

Jeff Sargeant/UBC Thunderbirds

VANCOUVER – Make it two straight dominant efforts for the UBC Thunderbirds (2-0) who hit triple digits for the second time in as many nights in a 105-64 win over the Fraser Valley Cascades to complete the home opening weekend sweep of their Canada West rivals.

The T-Birds shot 49 per cent from the field and got 57 of their points from the bench in a complete effort from start to finish.

Grant Shephard completed his first Canada West double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while eight different players finished with double-digit points.

"I felt good, I felt normal," said Shephard following his first regular season U SPORTS action. "The team is just as good as we were in pre-season if not better and it was good that we came out strong in both games."

"It's always nice to get off to a good start like that, everybody played in both games and got an opportunity to get some real quality minutes for the young guys," said UBC head coach Kevin Hanson. "As is typical for first-years we have to focus a little more on the defensive side of things but offensively it was pretty entertaining to actually watch, and to coach."

The Cascades held in with the 'Birds until late in the first quarter when UBC went on a 7-2 run to take a 24-16 lead.

By halftime, the T-Birds had doubled up Fraser Valley 52-26.

UBC didn't slow down at all in the second half putting up 31 points in the third quarter alone as the victory was never in doubt to start the season a perfect 2-0 before heading on the road for four straight.

Grant Audu and Taylor Browne finished second in UBC scoring with 14 points each. 

Mark Johnson was a bright spot for the Cascades – the fourth-year forward from Palm Springs, Calif., accrued his team-high 17 points in efficient fashion, shooting 5-of-10 from the field, 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, and 5-for-5 from the foul line. Sukhman Sandhu had 11 and a team-high six rebounds.

The Thunderbirds head to Calgary next weekend for a weekend double header against the Dinos before heading to Prince George for a pair of games against the Timberwolves the following week.

The Cascades basketball teams are back at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre this coming weekend for their regular-season home openers, Nov. 3-4 vs. the Mount Royal Cougars.

- with files from Dan Kinvig (UFV Athletics)

PHOTO: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds