One night after surrendering 101 points to the Brandon Bobcats, the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team made a priority of tightening up their defence.
Playing on the road in Brandon on Saturday, the Cascades allowed 36 fewer points than they did in Friday’s 101-84 loss, prevailing 76-65 to wrap up their pre-Christmas schedule.
UFV (3-5) snapped a three-game losing streak behind a game-high 21 points from Manny Dulay and 16 from Andrew Morris. Brandon (3-7) got 16 points from Girece Kazumba and 14 from Earl Thompson Jr.
“They missed a few shots they were hitting yesterday, but we also did a good job of not letting them get into a rhythm and feeling confident,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said. “We kept our turnovers low (13 to Brandon’s 20), and we did a nice job on the defensive glass. They had to earn a few more of their buckets today, instead of us giving up those extra layups.”
The Cascades had been on their heels from the start on Friday, but they had some spring in their step to open Saturday’s rematch, racing out to an early 13-4 lead. The Bobcats hung around, but UFV took a 41-39 advantage into the half.
Brandon levelled the score briefly late in the third quarter, but the Cascades responded with a 10-0 run, capped by a Daniel Adediran layup. UFV’s smallest lead from that juncture was five points, and Dulay’s three-pointer with just over two minutes remaining – extending the lead to 72-63 – was the dagger.
Dulay, the Canada West assists leader, registered five assists to go with eight rebounds and three steals. Morris’s 16 points off the bench were a UFV career high, and Mark Johnson chipped in with nine points and eight boards.
“We’ve been struggling, and the guys, to their credit, have really worked, stuck together, kept grinding and figured out a way to have some success,” Friesen said. “I’m glad they were able to get a win heading into the Christmas break.”
The Cascades basketball teams return to action Jan. 6-7, when they host the MacEwan Griffins at the Envision Athletic Centre.