The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team raced out to a 27-point lead on Saturday evening, en route to a 78-67 road win over the UNBC Timberwolves.
Canada West scoring leader Kayli Sartori had another big night for the Cascades, racking up 23 points on an efficient 9-of-15 shooting performance from the floor. It was her third outing of 20-plus points in the past four games, and she added eight rebounds, four assists and three steals – all team-high totals.
Fifth-year guard Shayna Cameron went 4-for-7 from beyond the arc on her way to 14 points, and the Cascades’ rookie starters Taylor Claggett (17 points, six rebounds) and Kate Head (a career-high 10 points, 2-for-2 from the three-point line, six rebounds) also excelled as UFV improved to 4-2 on the season.
UNBC point guard Maria Mongomo replied with a game-high 29 points, but she couldn’t prevent her team from suffering its sixth straight loss to begin the Canada West regular season.
“This morning I watched some video, and I saw that we were standing around too much on offence last night,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said, referring to his team’s 80-68 win over UNBC on Friday.
“We really turned that around tonight. We moved the ball, found the open man. It was great basketball to watch.”
The Cascades built a 22-13 lead at the end of the first quarter on Saturday, only to watch the host T-Wolves open the second on a 10-2 run to close to within 24-23. But UFV regained control behind its two precocious rookies – Claggett and Head combined to score the next nine points, sparking a 21-4 run to end the first half. The Cascades took a 45-27 cushion into the locker room.
It was more of the same in the third quarter, and the Cascades’ lead peaked at 27 points early in the fourth.
With UFV’s starters on the bench for the vast majority of the final frame, the T-Wolves made a late push, but the deficit was too large to overcome.
“I thought it was a great performance for our team,” Tuchscherer summarized. “We came out with a lot of energy and played fantastic basketball for a lot of the game, which enabled us to get a lot of our girls into the game (in the fourth quarter), which was super-valuable to us.”
Sartori pushed her conference-leading scoring average back up to an even 20 points per game.
“Kayli is leading us in a lot of different ways,” Tuchscherer said. “She’s a calming influence on our team, and it’s nice for us to know she’s a tough match-up for other teams.”
The Cascades basketball teams wrap up the first semester with road games vs. the Thompson Rivers WolfPack next Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.).