Offence slow to materialize as Cascades women’s hoopsters fall to Thunderbirds

(Rich Lam/UBC Athletics Photo)

Game-long shooting struggles sank the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team on Saturday evening in Vancouver, as they dropped a 69-49 decision to the UBC Thunderbirds.

The Cascades turned in a solid defensive effort, holding the T-Birds to 37.5 per cent shooting from the field and limiting All-Canadian Maddison Penn to 15 points. But UFV shot just 24.1 per cent from the field themselves, which allowed UBC – coming off a 71-62 win over the Cascades the night before – plenty of margin for error as they completed the weekend sweep.

“We had a real hard time scoring tonight,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer noted. “It wasn’t for a lack of quality looks, it’s just a bunch of kids who aren’t playing with a lot of confidence right now, and it’s tough to play that way. They’re not making shots they normally would. I feel bad for them – the effort is there, but nothing’s going in, and it kind of snowballs on you . . . It’s contagious a little bit. I don’t know what the science is on that, but it sure seems like it.

“We’re going to have to get in the gym this week and build some confidence.”

The T-Birds (2-0) staked out a 17-9 advantage after the first quarter, and led 30-19 at the half. The Cascades outscored UBC 16-15 in the third quarter to remain within striking distance heading to the final frame, but the hosts pulled away down the stretch.

Taylor Claggett’s 14 points and nine rebounds were both team-high totals for the Cascades, and Shayna Litman registered 10 points and eight boards. Amanda Thompson posted six points and two assists, and rookie forward Katelyn Mallette had six points and four rebounds off the bench in what Tuchscherer termed a “fantastic” performance.

Keylyn Filewich paced the T-Birds with 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Penn added 11 boards to her 15 points for a double-double of her own. Jessica Hanson also scored 15 points for UBC, who out-rebounded UFV 58-36.

The Cascades basketball teams’ regular-season home openers are this coming weekend, Nov. 3-4 vs. the Mount Royal Cougars at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

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