Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The University of the Fraser Valley women's basketball team rode a huge third quarter to a 69-64 victory over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Friday evening at the Envision Athletic Centre.
The Cascades held a modest 35-31 lead at halftime, but came out of the locker room on fire. They shot 55.6 per cent from the field as a team en route to 29 points in the frame, and would go on to extend the lead to 20 points (69-49) on Amelia Worrell's three-pointer with just over four minutes left in regulation.
The WolfPack kept clawing, though – they reeled off a 13-0 run in less than three minutes against UFV's reserves, forcing Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer to reinsert senior star Kayli Sartori in the final minute to settle things down.
The Cascades put the finishing touches on the victory to improve to 9-6, which gives them sole possession of eighth place in Canada West. Thompson Rivers fell to 2-13.
The two teams renew hostilities on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the EAC.
"I think in the first half, Thompson Rivers was sort of ahead of the play," Tuchscherer said afterward. "Everything we tried to do, they had a step on us, offensively and defensively. We really weren't in control of the pace of the game. I think in the third quarter, we flowed a little bit better coming out of the backcourt and we tried to simplify things a little bit. That opened things up for us."
Sartori finished with 19 points in just 20 minutes of action, and Shayna Litman and Sara Simovic chipped in with 11 points apiece. Rookies Amanda Thompson and Jessica Zawada contributed seven points each off the bench, Simovic paced the Cascades with five assists, and Taylor Claggett hauled down a team-high eight rebounds.
TRU's Emma Piggin tied Sartori for game-high scoring honours with 19 points and added 11 rebounds. Michelle Bos was the only other WolfPack player to score in double figures.
"You never like to give up a big lead like that as the game goes on, but I think it's good experience for our team, for some of our younger kids to go through that," Tuchscherer said. "This is a team that, if you open the door a little bit, they're going to barge on through. Those are good lessons for some of our younger kids to learn tonight, for sure."