WolfPack fend off Cascades’ comeback, prevail 77-71

Vick Toor scored a team-high 17 points on Friday at TRU. (UFV Athletics file photo)

A stirring fourth-quarter comeback came up short for the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team, as the Thompson Rivers WolfPack hung on for a 77-71 win on Friday evening in Kamloops.

The Cascades (5-10) trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half, but got the deficit down to three with four minutes left in regulation. The host WolfPack (8-7), though, fended them off down the stretch to extend their win streak to six.

The two teams lock horns again on Saturday in Kamloops (7 p.m., CanadaWest.tv).

“We played hard for a large portion of the game, but playing smart and playing disciplined is something we’ve had trouble doing for long stretches,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said. “We struggled with that especially in the second quarter.”

Both teams shot the ball efficiently during the first quarter, which ended with the WolfPack leading 27-24. The hosts seized control in the second behind some red-hot shooting from Derek Rhodes off the bench – he scored 10 points in the frame as TRU stretched its advantage to 47-34 at the break.

The Cascades opened the third quarter on a 13-4 run, capped by an Andrew Morris and-one layup, to cut the WolfPack cushion to 51-46. TRU pushed the lead back to 10 early in the fourth, but Parvir Bains sparked a comeback, swishing a trio of triples in quick succession. Vick Toor capped the surge with a tough driving layup, drawing UFV back to within 67-64 with just over four minutes left. But the WolfPack came up with some key defensive stops down the stretch, and got to the foul line to finish the game off.

“I’m happy about the way the guys rebounded after a disappointing first half, but we’ve got to learn to play to our strengths and not be our own worst enemy at times,” Friesen said. “As a young team, you expect that, and we need to get better at that aspect of the game.”

Rookie point guard Toor paced the Cascades with 17 points and six assists, and centre Matt Cooley scored a season-high 16 points to go with eight rebounds. Morris (14 points) and Bains (11) also scored in double figures for UFV.

For the WolfPack, Rhodes scored 19 of his game-high 21 points in the first half, while Joe Davis (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Mike Roualt (11 points, 14 rebounds) both notched double-doubles. TRU out-rebounded the Cascades 41-31.

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