Deanna Tuchscherer staged a breakout at the expense of the Trinity Western Spartans, detonating for 35 points to lead the UFV Cascades to a 72-61 triumph at the Langley Events Centre on Thursday evening.
The rookie forward from Chilliwack shattered her previous career high for points (21) on her way to registering the fourth-highest scoring output in a Canada West women’s basketball game this season. Tuchscherer added 11 rebounds as the Cascades (9-4) snapped a five-game losing streak in head-to-head match-ups with the Spartans (3-10).
“I think we needed that from Deanna tonight,” noted UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer. “They really zeroed in on our game plan in kind of neutralizing Taylor (Claggett, Cascades’ top scorer). And not having Maddy (Gobeil, starting point guard) tonight, another scorer out of our lineup, it was good to see Deanna step up and showcase what she can do.”
The two teams traded buckets early, but the Cascades caught fire midway through the first quarter, reeling off a 10-0 run ignited by Lauryn Walker’s triple and highlighted by six points from Tuchscherer.
The offence dried up for the Cascades at that point – they were held pointless over the ensuing five minutes bridging the first and second quarters, allowing the Spartans to creep back to within 20-18. At the half, UFV’s lead was 28-20.
The two teams both warmed up offensively to start the third quarter, but it was the Cascades pushing the lead to double digits (49-39) heading to the fourth.
The Spartans surged in the final frame, cutting the deficit to 55-53 after Jolen Vlieg hit a layup and Nicole Fransson went 1-for-2 from the free throw line. But the Cascades got big buckets from Alexis Worrell, Claggett, and Nikki Cabuco down the stretch, and Tuchscherer closed things out in the dying minutes. With just over two minute left, Claggett fed Tuchscherer down low for a drop-step layup, plus the foul, and a couple trips later, Tuchscherer rebounded her own miss and laid it back in to make it 67-58.
Tuchscherer shot 14-of-27 from the field, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, and Claggett battled through constant double-teams to register a double-double (10 points, 15 rebounds). Amanda Thompson scored nine points, and Worrell chipped in with eight.
Kianna Wiens (16 points), Jayden Gill (15 points) and Fransson (13 points, 11 rebounds) scored in double figures for the Spartans.
Afterward, Al Tuchscherer noted his team has some areas to clean up before Saturday’s rematch – most notably, cutting down on the 18 offensive rebounds TWU was able to collect.
“Their offensive rebounding really hurt us, especially early, and then I think they were just relentless trying to get the ball into the paint,” he said. “We didn’t do a great job preventing that tonight. We’ve got a day off to prepare for the Saturday night game, and we’ll see if we can do a better job with that.”