A third-quarter letdown cost the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team dearly on Thursday evening, as they dropped a 69-59 decision on the road to the Calgary Dinos.
In a clash of teams with matching 7-3 records coming in, the Cascades got off to a tremendous start and built a 20-7 early in the second quarter. But the Dinos found some traction at that point, reeling off a 7-0 run and ultimately cutting the deficit to 29-26 at halftime.
The third quarter was all Calgary – they outscored the Cascades 33-15 in the frame, and though UFV was able to trim a 15-point deficit back inside single digits in the fourth, the rally fell short.
The two teams renew hostilities at 6 p.m. Mountain time on Friday at Calgary’s Jack Simpson Gymnasium.
“I thought the second quarter was typical – we had a good first quarter, they came back and made some adjustments and had a good second,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer analyzed afterward. “I thought the last minute of the second quarter we had some breakdowns that gave them some momentum.
“And then in the third quarter, I didn’t really recognize my team. It was just an abysmal defensive performance in the third, against a team that’s been struggling offensively the last little while. To give up 33 points, I’m not sure how that can even happen. Calgary seized that opportunity. We came back in the fourth and played hard, but it was too big a hole for us.”
Turnovers haunted the Cascades on Thursday – they gave the ball away 25 times, compared to just 12 for the Dinos.
Brianna Ghali led the way for the hosts – she racked up a game-high 25 points along with 13 rebounds and seven steals. Bobbi Jo Colburn (14 points) and Erin McIntosh (13 points) also scored in double figures for Calgary.
UFV’s Sara Simovic counted a trio of three-pointers among her team-high 14 points, and Taylor Claggett, Shayna Litman and Kayli Sartori scored 11 apiece.
“I think you’ve got to take the positives out of what we did,” Tuchscherer said, reflecting on how his team goes about regrouping for Friday’s rematch. “I thought we finished the game strong – we regained our defensive composure, and I hope it can carry on into tomorrow’s game.”