Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The University of the Fraser Valley men's basketball team rode a balanced attack and a stingy defence to a 81-62 victory over the UNBC Timberwolves on Friday evening.
Five Cascades scored in double figures, with Sukhjot Bains leading the way with a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds). Andrew Morris (15 points), Mark Johnson (13), Vick Toor (13) and Parm Bains (10) also chipped in offensively, and Sukhman Sandhu contributed eight points and four blocks for the winners.
Jovan Leamy replied with a game-high 18 points and Austin Chandler scored 11 off the bench for the T-Wolves, who were limited to 30.9 per cent shooting from the field as a team.
The Cascades (5-4) extended their win streak to four games. They clash once again with UNBC (5-2) on Saturday (7 p.m., Envision Financial Athletic Centre).
"We shared the ball really well," UFV head coach Adam Friesen said. "For us to be successful, we need to have as many threats on the floor as possible at all times, and have everybody looking to be aggressive when their opportunity arises.
"Offensively this season, we've been a team that's had some lulls over the course of the game. That occurred again today at times, but we've been really working on when we're having those lulls is, are we out of the game when it's over, or are we still in it? Do we rebound, do we take care of the basketball, do we get back on defence? Tonight when we had our stretches where we didn't score, we were able to keep the lead because of all the other things we did well."
The T-Wolves struggled mightily at the offensive end in the first half – they mustered just 10 points in each of the first two quarters, and shot 22.2 per cent from the field during that stretch including 0-for-10 from beyond the arc. The Cascades built a 19-10 lead after one quarter, and led 38-20 at the break.
UNBC made a third-quarter push, piecing together a 9-2 run to get back to within 11 points (46-35), but Morris ended that surge with a three-pointer, and UFV maintained a double-digit cushion the rest of the way.
"First half, we were a bit tentative," UNBC head coach Todd Jordan analyzed. "I thought Fraser Valley did a good job – they came out with a lot of energy, and did a good job clogging the paint and made it difficult for us to get easy stuff. It took us a while for us to adjust to their length and size – it gave us some problems, and good on them.
"I thought in the second half, we made some adjustments offensively – we were able to score a bit more, get out a bit in transition . . . but we just couldn't get enough stops. Every time we got close, to within 10, they'd go on a run. We had trouble keeping them from getting downhill from us off the dribble. We've got to do a better job of that tomorrow night if we want to give ourselves a chance to win."
Sukhjot Bains noted that ball movement has been critical during the Cascades' win streak.
"At practice, we always preach that we have to move the ball," he noted. "We're not really an iso team, so we all have to work together. Ball movement is a really important key for us . . . and when shots are going in, we're pretty good."