Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – For the second straight evening, the University of the Fraser Valley women's basketball team got off to a hot start on their way to a double-digit victory over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.
The Cascades shot 72.7 per cent from the field (8-for-11) in the first quarter as they built a 24-18 lead, reminiscent of their start in Friday's 62-50 triumph over the WolfPack. They stretched the lead to 37-28 at the break, and kept Thompson Rivers at bay throughout the second half en route to a 58-44 triumph.
UFV boasts a 2-0 record in the aftermath of opening weekend, while TRU is 0-2.
That said, Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer wasn't entirely thrilled with Saturday's performance noting that his team's offensive output decreased by quarter: 24, 13, 12 and 9.
"We had a great start to the game offensively, and as the game went on, we got a little bit selfish," he said. "Our attention to detail wasn't fantastic, so our execution wasn't very good, and defensively we had some breakdowns. But those are lessons we're going to have to learn."
Amanda Thompson was the spark in the Cascades' scorching start at the offensive end. She scored 11 points in the first quarter, highlighted by a trio of three-pointers, and she would finish the night with 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting from downtown.
Taylor Claggett, coming off a 21-point effort in Friday's opener, continued her strong play in the rematch. She scored 19 points in exceedingly efficient fashion, going 4-for-6 from the field and 11-of-15 from the free throw line. She also hauled down a team-high eight rebounds.
For the WolfPack, Jordon Haggerty notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Leilani Carney also scored in double figures with 12.
While the Cascades didn't carry over their scalding first-quarter shooting for the entire game, they finished at 38.8 per cent – markedly better than the frosty 23.6 per cent the WolfPack managed.
"We have to shoot the ball better," TRU head coach Scott Reeves said. "We get the same number of shots, we get the same-looking shots, ours just don't go in. We have to get in the gym and work extremely hard.
"Our defence did get better as the game went on. He (Tuchscherer) made some adjustments, and we adjusted to those. I was happy with our defensive effort and energy – I think we need to talk more to be even better. And again, they just shot the ball extremely well in the first quarter and got a little bit of a lead on us. Full credit to them – they were ready to play hard this weekend in their home opener, and they shot the ball extremely well. If they can shoot it that well all year long, they're going to be in every game."
The Cascades are on the road next weekend to face the Saskatchewan Huskies, while the WolfPack are on a bye and return to action Nov. 9-10 for their home openers vs. UVic.