UFV Cascades blow out Grant McEwan Griffins in preseason finale

Deanna Tuchscherer and the UFV women’s basketball team start their season this weekend in Manitoba.

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team played its final preseason tune-up games in Calgary, splitting a pair of games.

The Cascades opened with a 66-58 loss to the host Calgary Dinos on Friday, and bounced back for a 65-39 victory over the MacEwan Griffins on Saturday.

UFV’s starts to each game told the story. On Friday, they trailed the Dinos 27-8, a deficit which proved insurmountable. On Saturday, they raced out to a 21-9 lead over the Griffins at the end of the first, and never looked back.

“Yesterday’s start was really problematic for us,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer noted. “We were playing catch-up the entire game. We’ve made a bit of a habit of this, and something needed to be fixed. You can’t go down 15 points every night and fight back.

“I thought we got off to a much more energized start today. We went with a different crew to start the game, and I thought they responded well. That had everybody else energized as well, and it was a real team effort tonight.”

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FRIDAY: CALGARY 66, UFV 58

The Dinos’ strong start was highlighted by a 13-0 run, and while the Cascades were able to whittle the deficit down to single digits, they ultimately fell short. UFV struggled to take care of the ball, coughing up 29 turnovers, but were able to induce 23 Dinos turnovers to blunt the impact somewhat.

A trio of Cascades scored in double figures – Jessica Parker had a team-high 11 points, and Amanda Thompson and Maddy Gobeil scored 10 apiece. Taylor Claggett chipped in with seven points and a team-leading six boards.

Erin McIntosh (17 points) and Sasha Lichtenwald (12 points, seven rebounds, six steals) led the way for the Dinos.

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SATURDAY: UFV 65, MACEWAN 39

The Cascades’ defence was outstanding, generating an eye-popping 35 Griffins turnovers while limiting MacEwan to 28.8 per cent shooting from the field. UFV raced out to a 35-13 halftime lead, and cruised from there.

Claggett led the Cascades with 13 points and seven rebounds, Thompson counted a trio of three-pointers among her 12 points, and Gobeil and Nikki Cabuco scored nine points apiece.

Darian Mahmi (10 points, eight rebounds) was the lone MacEwan player to score in double digits.

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UP NEXT: The Cascades basketball teams tip off the 2019-20 Canada West regular season next week on the road vs. the Winnipeg Wesmen (Nov. 1-2). Home-opening weekend is Nov. 15-16 vs. the UBC Okanagan Heat.

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