The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team was aiming for a second straight upset win over Thompson Rivers, but the WolfPack clawed out a 58-54 win on Saturday at the Envision Athletic Centre.
The Cascades led by 10 points in the second quarter, but TRU rallied to draw even in the third. Then, with the score tied 47-47 with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation, the WolfPack reeled off a 7-0 run to take control.
UFV mounted a comeback of its own and drew to within 55-54 on Nataliia Gavryliuk’s three-pointer with 15.8 seconds left, but after TRU’s Taiysa Worsfold split a pair of free throws, Gavryliuk had the ball poked away from her on a drive to the basket and the WolfPack hung on from there.
Explorer Division regular-season champion Thompson Rivers improved to 18-2, while the third-place Cascades fell to 12-8.
“It would have been nice to get a win tonight, but we’re playing a really quality opponent in Thompson Rivers,” said Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer, whose team had knocked off the WolfPack 70-57 on Friday.
“To get a (weekend) split, for where we’re at right now as a team, is an all right result for us. We played them pretty tough again tonight – we knew they were going to respond and come with a better effort.”
Michelle Bos scored a game-high 19 points for the WolfPack, while Jorri Duxbury notched 17 points.
Sarah Wierks, Celeste Dyck and Katie Brink tied for team-high scoring honours for the Cascades with 13 points apiece, and Wierks added 12 rebounds for her 18th double-double of the season. That ties the Canada West record originally set by Sarah Crooks of the Saskatchewan Huskies in 2006-07.
Wierks also set new single-season conference marks for total rebounds (307) and rebounding average (15.4 per game), and also finished atop the Canada West scoring list with 19.2 points per game.
It was the final regular-season home game for fifth-year seniors Wierks and Dyck, and they were honoured in a post-game ceremony.
“It wasn’t really any different for me – I tried to push that external stuff out of my head,” Wierks said. “I’m not really emotional about it, because I still have playoff games (at home) next weekend. It’s not the end, really. But my entire family came out to watch, so that was pretty cool.”
TRU has a first-round playoff bye, while the Cascades will face the Regina Cougars, the sixth-place finisher from the Pioneer Division, in a best-of-three series that tips off Friday in Abbotsford.