Shayna Cameron led a balanced attack as the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team defeated the UNBC Timberwolves 80-68 on the road on Friday evening.
Cameron racked up her team-high 21 points in exceedingly efficient fashion, hitting 9-of-13 shots from the field, including a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
She had plenty of support – Kayli Sartori, the Canada West scoring leader heading into Friday’s action, stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Rookie forward Taylor Claggett registered 17 points and seven boards, while Sydney Williams’ 14 points included four three-pointers.
UNBC point guard Maria Mongomo replied with a game-high 23 points, while 6’3” centre Vasiliki Louka posted 10 points and six boards.
The Cascades (3-2) and T-Wolves (0-5) renew hostilities in Prince George on Saturday at 5 p.m.
“For a lot of the night, I think we were really frustrated,” said Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer, noting that UNBC’s size poses a difficult match-up for his squad. “We went into that fourth quarter and I told everybody to kind of relax and take a deep breath. I thought we got more composed and played defence a bit better. And we hit some shots, and that broke it open.”
UFV built a 24-19 lead at the end of the first quarter, then opened the second on a 12-4 run to push the advantage to double digits. The host T-Wolves responded with an 8-0 run of their own, but the Cascades regained control as Williams swished a pair of treys in quick succession. They led 45-38 at the break.
UNBC hung tough throughout the third quarter, and the Cascades took a 58-50 cushion into the fourth. The visitors exploded for a 13-4 run midway through the final frame, though, to push the lead to 19 points and drain any suspense from the proceedings.
A highlight for the Cascades on Friday was the return of Hailey Kendall – the third-year guard had been sidelined the past four weeks with a broken hand. Her five points off the bench all came during the decisive fourth-quarter run.
“Hailey is a defensive leader for us,” Tuchscherer said. “She’s so smart at the defensive end of the floor, and a lot of things she does don’t show up in the box score. It’s so great having her out there.”