Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The University of the Fraser Valley women's basketball team completed a weekend sweep of the MacEwan Griffins on Saturday evening, grinding out a 59-55 victory at the Envision Athletic Centre.
The Cascades were coming off a 73-70 triumph on Friday highlighted by a 31-point outburst from Kayli Sartori, but the reigning Canada West scoring champ mustered just eight points in the rematch on 1-of-9 shooting from the field.
With Sartori having a rare off night, Taylor Claggett and Syd Williams stepped into the starring roles. Sophomore forward Claggett had a huge double-double (16 points, 16 rebounds), and third-year guard Williams sparked the hosts with her hustle off the bench and chipped in 13 points.
It was hardly an offensive showcase for either team – the Cascades shot just 31.5 per cent from the field, while MacEwan was at 28.4. Paige Knull (14 points) and Kendall Lydon (12 points) were the Griffins' top scorers.
UFV improved to 7-3, tied for fifth in Canada West, while the Griffins are tied for 11th at 4-8.
"Our D has been solid for most of the year, and we can rely on that a little bit," UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said afterward. "But on nights like tonight, it's too fine . . . 59 points isn't going to win a lot of games in Canada West, so I feel like we're fortunate tonight to sneak out a win against a pretty good team."
The Griffins raced out to an early 12-3 lead before the Cascades cut the deficit to 18-17 at the end of the first quarter. Both offences came up dry for most of the second stanza, but UFV found some traction just before halftime and took a 29-22 lead into the break. MacEwan mustered just four points in the quarter.
The Griffins reeled off a 12-0 run early in the third quarter to surge ahead 34-33, and the two teams swapped the lead with regularity from that point. The Cascades, though, had one last run in them – a 9-3 game-ending spurt, highlighted by a Williams triple.
"I was really thankful for the energy Syd brought to the game tonight," Tuchscherer said. "We weren't sure if she was going to be able to play today, and she didn't start, but she came off the bench for us and she was huge. And Taylor had a really good weekend for us all-around. She was a force on the boards, and hit some key shots.
"We're really inconsistent in our personnel right now, and it's reflected in our offensive execution. We've got to get that straightened out. We're entering a pretty tough stretch right now, so we've got to get back in the gym and work on some things."
The Cascades hit the road next weekend to face the Calgary Dinos, while the Griffins visit the Brandon Bobcats.