A thoroughly dominant second-half performance propelled the Mount Royal Cougars to an 88-59 win over the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades on Saturday evening.
The score was level at halftime, 41-41, but the Cougars outscored the host Cascades 47-18 after the break to salvage a weekend split at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre. UFV had won Friday’s opener 86-80.
Mount Royal star Josh Ross, limited to 11 points on Friday, took charge in the rematch, racking up 25 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Sukhman Sandhu, with 20 points, was the lone Cascade to score in double figures.
The Cougars squared their record at 2-2, while UFV fell to 1-3.
“We struggle mightily when adversity hits us,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen analyzed. “When it does, we haven’t shown the ability to turn the momentum once we lose it. That’s been unfortunate, and it’s something we’re forced to learn.”
Sandhu, the Cascades’ 6’10” sophomore centre, was hot from downtown in the first half, going 4-for-8 from beyond the arc en route to 16 points at the break. Ross, though, also got rolling early, setting the tone for his team with 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
The Cougars opened the second half on a 9-0 run, highlighted by a couple of buckets in the paint from Ross, and they didn’t look back from there, shooting 66.7 per cent from the field in the third quarter. The Cascades struggled on offence as well as defence, hitting just 25.9 per cent of their field goal attempts in the second half.
Andrew Morris and Riley Braich each chipped in with eight points apiece for the Cascades, and Braich added a team-leading seven rebounds. Daniel Adediran posted seven points, six boards and four assists.
John Hegwood (15 points), Noah Lewis (13) and Glen Yang (11) joined Ross as double-figure scorers for the Cougars.
The UFV basketball teams hit the road next week to face the Regina Cougars.