The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team opened a two-game set in Edmonton on Friday with a 63-51 loss at the hands of the Alberta Pandas.
The Cascades got big games from Kayli Sartori (17 points, six rebounds, two blocks) and Taylor Claggett (13 points, 10 rebounds), but the Pandas’ Shay Crisp (17 points) and Maddie Rogers (15 points) knocked down eight three-pointers between them to spark the hosts to victory.
The Pandas improved to 13-2, good for second place in Canada West, while the Cascades (8-5) are tied for seventh. The two teams lock horns again on Saturday at 5 p.m. MST (webcast at ufv.canadawest.tv).
“I was OK with our game tonight,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said afterward. “I thought we were playing one of those ugly road games, just hanging around and hanging around, and when it came time to grab the momentum, we weren’t able to.”
The Cascades struggled offensively in the first half, shooting just 22.2 per cent from the field over the first two quarters and trailed 27-19 at the break despite 10 points from Claggett.
Tuchscherer’s charges found their footing in the third quarter – they reeled off a 9-0 run midway through the frame, capped by an Amanda Thompson three-pointer, to cut the deficit to 34-33.
The Pandas, though, answered with three-pointers of their own on back-to-back possessions, courtesy Lauren Earl and Crisp, to push the lead back to seven points, and they controlled the game from that juncture.
Afterward, Tuchscherer pinpointed his team’s free throw shooting as an area that cost them on Friday. The Cascades earned 26 attempts from the charity stripe, but hit just 16 of them (61.5 per cent).
“We got to the line quite a bit, but we didn’t capitalize,” he noted. “We’ve got to get a better start tomorrow and be more efficient offensively to give ourselves a chance to get a W.”