The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team wrapped up its 2017-18 campaign with an 82-66 loss to the Manitoba Bisons on Saturday evening at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.
Bisons senior guard Justus Alleyn sewed up the Canada West scoring title, racking up a game-high 25 points to edge Saskatchewan’s Lawrence Moore by the slimmest of margins. He scored 481 points over the course of the campaign for a 24.1 points-per-game average, while Moore finished at 480 (24.0 ppg).
Manitoba (12-8) is playoff-bound and will be the No. 6 seed in the Canada West draw. They’ll host the No. 10 Brandon Bobcats this coming Friday (7:30 p.m. CT).
The Cascades (5-15) finish outside the post-season picture for the first time since 2009. They were led by forwards Mark Johnson (16 points) and Matt Cooley (10 points, 10 rebounds) on Saturday.
“I think we came a long way from the beginning of the year,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen said. “We knew what this season was going to be about – gaining experience and learning the league for almost our entire team. Now our quest to take these experiences and grow in them will begin in the next couple weeks.”
The Bisons opened the game on an 11-2 run, and answered every Cascades run with one of their own. James Wagner chipped in with 16 points for the visitors, and Keiran Zziwa (11) and Cameron O’Hara (10) also scored in double figures.
Jordyn Sekhon scored nine points off the bench for UFV, accounting for his point total on a trio of three-pointers. Parm Bains and Sukhman Sandhu had eight points apiece. Ball security was the Cascades’ Achilles’ heel – they had 20 turnovers, while the Bisons coughed it up just three times.
“I thought we played well,” Bisons head coach Kirby Schepp said, reflecting on a weekend sweep which included a 67-46 win over the Cascades on Friday. “Certainly tonight, I thought we played well at both ends. Last night, we played well defensively but not so great offensively.
“One thing about Fraser Valley is, like the name Cascades, they move the ball so well. They’re probably one of the best teams at their ball movement and passing, and they make it really tough for you defensively. So I was really happy with the way we contained that a little bit, and defended them reasonably well. It was all about treating this like a playoff game. We want to be playing playoff basketball.”
BOUNCE PASSES: 6’10” sophomore centre Sukhman Sandhu provided a statistical highlight for the Cascades, leading Canada West and finishing fourth in the nation in blocks per game (2.1), including a pair of blocks on Saturday.