Cascades hoping to dominate Dinos

The University of the Fraser Valley women's basketball team opens its CIS playoff run tonight at Abbotsford's Envision Athletic Centre.

Dan Kinvig,

Black press

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team opens their CIS playoff chase tonight at home, hosting the University of Calgary Dinos at Abbotsford’s Envision Athletic Centre (6 p.m. tip-off).

It is game one of a best-of-three series.

The matchup represents a fascinating clash between a high-octane offence and a lockdown defence.

Tenth-ranked Calgary was the second highest scoring team in Canada West at 74.8 points per game.

UFV’s defence was the second-stingiest, allowing an average of 58.7 points.

UFV beat the Dinos 88-71 on Jan. 6, but Cascades bench boss Al Tuchscherer is loathe to embrace the role of favourite.

“We can’t look too much into the win that we had against them, I don’t think,” Tuchscherer cautioned. “This is a quality opponent we’re playing – until last week they were ahead of us in the (national) rankings, and they’ve won more games than us this year. I think it’s a pretty solid matchup.”

The last time the two teams met, the Cascades put together perhaps their best offensive performance of the season.

Guards Tessa Klassen and Aieisha Luyken were on fire – both players scored 26 points and drained five three-pointers.

Klassen, a Winnipeg native, hopes her team can find that kind of rhythm again in the rematch this week.

“I think we just played our game,” she analyzed. “We didn’t try to force anything – we just let the game come to us, essentially.

“That game was a really good turning point for us. We’d had ups and downs in the beginning of the season, but that game, we played really well as a team. Everyone was contributing, doing what they were supposed to be doing offensively and defensively. We were thriving together.”

The series winner advances to the CIS final four.

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