BASKETBALL WEEKEND PREVIEW: Cascades tangle with Cougars on home-opening weekend

The University of the Fraser Valley basketball teams host their regular-season home openers this weekend, taking on the Mount Royal Cougars.

Games tip off at 6 p.m. (women) and 8 p.m. (men) on Friday, and 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men) on Saturday at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

UFV students are invited to a pregame party on Friday, co-hosted by UFV Campus Rec and the Cascadians student supporters club. The festivities begin at 5 p.m. in the EFAC lobby, featuring free pizza for students wearing green, sign making, face painting and prizes (bring student card to be eligible to win).

WBB: Cascades seek to rediscover scoring touch

UFV’s Sara Simovic looks for teammate Taylor Claggett on a pick and roll.

Friday: Cascades (0-2) vs. Mount Royal Cougars (0-2), 6 p.m.

Saturday: Cascades vs. Cougars, 5 p.m.

Envision Financial Athletic Centre

Webcast: CanadaWest.tv

The Cascades and Cougars both come into this weekend seeking their first wins of the young season. UFV is coming off a pair of hard-fought losses on the road at the hands of the UBC Thunderbirds, while Mount Royal suffered a sweep on their home court against the Winnipeg Wesmen.

UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer’s top priority this week is tuning up the offence. The Cascades had a tough shooting night last Saturday, hitting just 24.1 per cent of their attempts from the field in a 69-49 loss to the T-Birds.

“I just hope this week we can get a little bit of confidence back into our game, and play like we think we can play,” Tuchscherer said. “We’ve got to get back to the basic things here – really focus on some of the process things that lead to great shots, and then knocking those shots down.”

Players to watch: Cascades fifth-year forward Shayna Litman had an outstanding preseason, averaging 19 points per game, and she got off to a productive start vs. UBC. Through two regular-season games, her 14.5 points per game are tied for 13th in Canada West, and her 8.5 rebounds per game are tied for seventh. For the Cougars, third-year transfer Charity Marlatt was a bright spot in the losses to Winnipeg. On Friday she came off the bench to rack up 20 points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes, and she registered eight points and nine boards on Saturday.

MBB: Youthful Cascades look to make strides vs. Cougars

Riley Braich and the Cascades tip off their home schedule this weekend.

Friday: Cascades (0-2) vs. Mount Royal Cougars (1-1), 8 p.m.

Saturday: Cascades vs. Cougars, 7 p.m.

Envision Financial Athletic Centre

Webcast: CanadaWest.tv

The Cascades men’s basketball team is a youthful outfit to say the least – nine of the 12 players on head coach Adam Friesen’s active roster are in their first or second years of eligibility. Last weekend, they got a taste of the level of competitiveness required to succeed in Canada West, dropping a pair of games on the road to a veteran-laden UBC squad.

“We’re excited to start our home schedule, and see if we can get our first win of the year,” Friesen said. “It was perfect to play a team like UBC on the first weekend. Our team got to see what kind of competitive play and physicality that league play is going to bring, and I’m hoping we can take those lessons and move forward against Mount Royal.”

The Cougars split a pair of home games on opening weekend against Winnipeg, winning 88-66 on Friday before falling 90-78 in Saturday’s rematch.

Players to watch: Cascades sophomore swingman Daniel Adediran was the team’s breakout player in the preseason, and he continued that momentum against the T-Birds, racking up 20 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes in Friday’s season-opener. The Cougars are led by fifth-year forward Josh Ross, who flirted with a triple-double both nights against Winnipeg. He’s averaging 19 points, 10 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.

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Indigenizing at UFV

The University of the Fraser Valley is situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Stó:lō peoples. The Stó:lō have an intrinsic relationship with what they refer to as S’olh Temexw (Our Sacred Land); therefore, we express our gratitude and respect for the honour of living and working in this territory.

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