A blue-collar effort paved the way for the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team to conclude its 2019 conference schedule on a winning note, defeating the Manitoba Bisons 76-65 on Saturday evening in Winnipeg.
The Cascades (5-3) dominated the paint, outscoring the Bisons (3-5) by a 40-14 margin from close range while out-rebounding the hosts 59-39.
“It was a real gritty effort tonight,” said Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer, whose team had dropped a 78-63 decision to the Bisons on Friday. “We rebounded the ball really well, and you could tell we played with a lot of determination. We battled for a lot of 50-50 balls. I thought we were a lot more mentally engaged tonight than maybe we were last night.”
Four Cascades scored in double figures including Chilliwack’s Deanna Tuchscherer with 16.
The GW Graham grad added 13 rebounds.
The Cascades held a 21-19 lead at the end of the first quarter after Tuchscherer beat the buzzer with a three-pointer, but the Bisons hung tough and inched ahead 33-32 at halftime.
UFV opened the third quarter with an Amanda Thompson triple, igniting an 11-3 run to open the frame. The Bisons, though, would draw back to within 49-48 heading to the fourth.
But after struggling to make shots for most of the evening, the Cascades caught fire in the final quarter, pouring in 27 points to pull away.
Tuchscherer did much of the damage, scoring nine points in the fourth.
Coach Tuchscherer noted that the Cascades’ offensive execution was much sharper in the second half, and praised the night-to-night growth of his rookies.
“I don’t think Maddy (Gobeil) or (Amanda) Parker were really happy with their performances on Friday, but they came out and played well tonight,” he noted. “And Deanna was big in the fourth quarter for us.
“When you’re a first-year and you’re asked to play some important minutes, you’ve got to figure it out. It’s not a league that’s particularly friendly to first-year kids, so you see a lot of up-and-down play for the most part. But it was nice to see them learn from Friday and be better on Saturday.”
The Cascades basketball teams now embark on the Christmas break, returning for a Jan. 3-4 doubleheader at home vs. the UBC Thunderbirds.