Vikes dial up the defence to earn weekend split with Cascades

Taylor Claggett scored nine points in Saturday’s exhibition loss to UVic.

A pair of prolonged offensive droughts cost the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team on Saturday afternoon, as they dropped a 58-41 exhibition decision to the Victoria Vikes.

The Cascades, coming off a 72-60 win over the Vikes on Friday, were limited to single-digit scoring in the first and third quarters, allowing the visitors to pull away at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

“For as good as we were last night, we were that bad tonight,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer analyzed. “We had real effort and toughness issues. Our ability to persevere through adversity was very weak tonight. This team needs to learn how to play tougher, and make tough and timely plays. We didn’t do that at all tonight.”

The Vikes had the defensive intensity dialed up to 11 from the opening tip – they began the game on a 12-0 run and led 18-6 at the end of the first quarter.

The Cascades found their footing in the second, reeling off a 13-0 run to go up 21-20. But the Vikes surged in front in the late stages of the frame and led 29-24 at the break.

The visitors carried that momentum into the third quarter, outscoring the Cascades 18-5 to seize control, and they kept UFV at bay in the fourth.

UVic’s Amira Giannattasio had an outstanding performance, racking up a game-high 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field. Kristy Gallagher notched 11 points for the Vikes, who out-rebounded the Cascades 43-29.

Shayna Litman was the lone Cascade to score in double figures, posting 13 points and seven boards. Taylor Claggett scored seven of her nine points in the first half. UFV struggled from the foul line, hitting just 8-of-17 attempts (47.1 per cent).

Up next for the Cascades women’s hoopsters is an exhibition tournament hosted by the Calgary Dinos next weekend. UFV faces the Alberta Pandas on Saturday (5 p.m. MT) and the host Dinos on Sunday (12 p.m. MT).

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

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