Kaitlyn McDonald’s only three points of the night came at an opportune time for the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team.
With the Cascades trailing the UBC Okanagan Heat 70-67 in the dying seconds of their Canada West regular season opener on Friday evening in Kelowna, McDonald was fouled while attempting a three-point shot with 0.4 seconds left on the clock.
The sophomore guard drained all three free throws to force overtime, and UFV went on to win 82-75.
“It took us over three quarters to kind of figure things out,” said Cascades coach Al Tuchscherer, whose team had trailed by eight points at the end of the first quarter and by 12 at halftime. “It was like trying to tame a wild horse or something – they were just doing their own thing. Once we settled down and did what we had to do, we had success. We need to replicate that tomorrow.”
The speedy Heat dictated the play in the first half, and led 43-31 at the break. UBC-O forced 17 turnovers while only coughing up eight themselves, and their 10 assists to UFV’s three indicated their excellent ball movement. Sarah Allison, who went on to finish with a game-high 28 points highlighted by six three-pointers, set the pace for the hosts.
The Cascades clawed their way back into it in the second half, and drew to within 64-62 on Katie Brink’s layup with just over four minutes left in regulation. But UBC-O nursed the lead and had a chance to put the game on ice when Angela White was fouled with seven seconds remaining and her team up 70-67.
White missed both free throws, though, and UFV point guard Celeste Dyck pushed the ball upcourt and got it to McDonald. A prolific and effective three-point shooter most nights, she had missed all five of her previous attempts from beyond the arc.
But Allison fouled McDonald, and she calmly stepped to the foul line and went 3-for-3.
“I was confident she was going to make those,” Tuchscherer said. “She just works on her craft so much. It’s all that work that pays off. It’s not an accident that she hit all three.”
Brink scored half of the Cascades’ 12 points in OT. She finished with 15, while Nataliia Gavryliuk (18 points, 10 rebounds), Dyck (17 points on 6-for-6 shooting from the field), Sarah Wierks (11 points, 16 rebounds) and Shayna Litman (10 points, eight boards) also scored in double figures for UFV.
– with files from UBC Okanagan Athletics