Cascades drop two-point decision to Dinos in preseason finale

Shayna Litman posted her second consecutive 26-point outing on Sunday. (UFV Athletics file photo)

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team wrapped up the preseason with a 53-51 road loss to the Calgary Dinos on Sunday afternoon.

The Cascades built a 30-18 lead at halftime and maintained a 10-point advantage heading to the fourth quarter, but the Dinos outscored them 17-5 in the final frame to claw out the two-point win.

“I thought we were really good for the majority of the game, with a lot of real positive steps forward,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “Our defence was really tight which was exciting to see, and offensively we were getting some good looks. Now we’ve just got to learn to bring a game home. That’s a whole different step. We gave ourselves an opportunity, we just didn’t get it done.”

Sunday’s game was a rematch of last season’s Canada West first-round playoff series, which saw the Cascades eliminate the Dinos two games to one in the best-of-three.

UFV controlled most of Sunday’s exhibition, but Dinos ended the game on a 12-0 run, taking their first lead on Briana Ghali’s three-pointer with 47 seconds left. The Cascades had a chance to win in the dying seconds, but Amanda Thompson’s shot from beyond the arc fell short and Jessica Zawada’s putback attempt through contact didn’t draw a whistle.

Shayna Litman had another big game for UFV. One night after racking up 26 points against the Alberta Pandas, the fifth-year forward matched that total against the Dinos in exceedingly efficient fashion (8-for-11 from the field, 10-for-11 from the free throw line) and added 11 rebounds for a double-double.

Taylor Claggett chipped in with seven points and nine boards, and Sara Simovic posted six points, five boards and three assists.

Erin McIntosh paced the Dinos with 14 points, and Ghali scored 13.

The Cascades were the more efficient team shooting the ball, hitting 34.8 per cent of their attempts from the field compared to 25.7 for the Dinos. But the hosts won the turnover battle, giving away the ball just 16 times to UFV’s 26.

The UFV basketball teams open the Canada West regular season this coming weekend (Oct. 27-28) at UBC, and host their home openers Nov. 3-4 vs. the Mount Royal Cougars.

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