The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team hung with one of the top teams in the nation for the first half on Thursday night, but the host Calgary Dinos stepped on the accelerator after the break.
The Cascades were within 43-37 at halftime, but the U Sports No. 5-ranked Dinos – the reigning national silver medalists – outscored UFV 31-19 in the third quarter and 32-12 in the fourth en route to a 106-68 victory.
Calgary improved to 9-2, while the Cascades fell to 5-6. The two teams lock horns again on Friday (8 p.m. MT, 7 p.m. PT, webcast at ufv.canadawest.tv).
“They brought a little more energy (in the second half), and they came out of the gates really well,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said. “They just killed us on the boards and were able to get a lot of good looks from three, and they hit them.”
UFV built some momentum in the second quarter, outscoring the Dinos 24-19 in the frame. Twenty-one of those points came from beyond the arc, led by fifth-year point guard Manny Dulay.
In the third, Calgary ran the Cascades off the three-point line while hitting five treys of their own, sparked by forward Lars Schlueter who hit three in the quarter.
Reigning Canada West player of the year Thomas Cooper paced the Dinos with 19 points, while Mambi Diarawa and Dallas Karch scored 15 apiece for the hosts.
The Cascades’ top scorers were reserves Denver Sparks-Guest (15 points) and rookie guard Riley Braich (a career-high 14 points). Dulay’s 12 points included three triples.
“Calgary’s obviously a tough match-up for everyone, and their athleticism is a tough match-up for us,” Friesen noted. “But we hung in there for 20 or 25 minutes, and it was great to see Riley perform so well.”
– with files from Calgary Dinos communications