Cascades lock it down on defence to cap sweep of Heat

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team’s dominance at the defensive end was comprehensive on Saturday, as they beat the UBC Okanagan Heat 65-37.

The Cascades limited the Heat to 21.8 per cent shooting from the field, and held them to single-digit point totals in three of the four quarters en route to the decisive victory.

At the other end of the floors, Shayna Litman (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Sara Simovic (15 points, five assists) set the pace offensively as UFV improved to 4-6 in Canada West play. The Heat fell to 0-8.

“I feel like we’ve been somewhat of a solid defensive team for most of the year, and it’s good to see that trend continuing,” said Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer, whose squad was coming off a 65-48 win on Friday. “I just hope that we’re starting to develop a little bit of an identity for our team where we’re tough to play against and you’re going to have to take some tough shots to beat us. That was a real encouraging sign, for sure.”

The Heat came out with some energy, building a quick 5-0 lead on an Emma Jonas three-pointer and an Emma Johnson layup, and Tuchscherer called a timeout shortly thereafter with the visitors’ lead at 7-3.

Sara Simovic runs the pick and roll with Shayna Litman.

It was all UFV from that point – they ended the first quarter on a 9-0 run and surged ahead 32-16 at halftime. The Heat made a third-quarter push to cut an 18-point deficit down to 12, but the Cascades got the lead up to 20 points on Taylor Claggett’s layup to open the fourth quarter. They cruised home from there.

Amanda Thompson and Katelyn Mallette scored eight points apiece for the Cascades, and Mallette added six rebounds and four assists. Claggett finished with seven points and six boards.

No Heat player was able to crack double digits in scoring – Jonas and Lindsey Bott tied for team-high honours with seven points apiece.

“I felt it was a little bit different game tonight, for sure,” Tuchscherer said, reflecting on his team’s offensive performance. “They took some things away from us a little bit, but I’m still pretty happy with how we shared the ball. We did pretty well on that, and we knocked down some shots tonight.”

The Cascades wrap up their first-semester schedule with a pair of road games next Friday and Saturday at the Lethbridge Pronghorns.

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