UFV women’s basketball team drops two to Winnipeg Wesmen

Opening weekend sent UFV on the road as Chilliwack’s Deanna Tuchscherer made her U-Sports debut.

The Winnipeg Wesmen fended off a fourth-quarter surge from Deanna Tuchscherer’s University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team, picking up a 77-72 win on Saturday evening in Winnipeg.

Coming off a 77-62 loss to the Wesmen on Friday, the Cascades (0-2) pushed the hosts down the stretch in the rematch, but were unable to come up with enough stops to pull ahead.

Rookie point guard Maddy Gobeil (19 points, 4-of-6 from beyond the arc) and senior forward Taylor Claggett (18 points, 13 rebounds, five assists) had solid outings for the Cascades (0-2), but the Wesmen (2-0) got a huge 33-point outburst from Faith Hezekiah.

“I thought we were pretty tough down the stretch,” UFV bench boss Al Tuchscherer said. “We were playing catch-up again most of the night, and we kept on fighting and never gave up. We made a game of it in the end.

“These are important games for our young kids, and even our veterans are learning how to win a little bit. Winnipeg is a real tough test for us early in the season. Their veteran play kind of showed through in the end.”

After a closely contested first quarter, the Wesmen clawed their way to a 31-24 lead midway through the second after Hezekiah hit one of her four three-pointers on the night. The Cascades responded with a 7-2 surge punctuated by an Amanda Thompson triple, but the hosts built a 36-31 lead at the half.

Triples from Hezekiah and Lena Wenke to open the third quarter allowed the Wesmen to push the lead to double digits at 43-33, but the Cascades continued to battle and stayed within striking distance headed to the final frame.

Late in the fourth, another quick 7-2 run capped by Gobeil’s trey off a pass from Claggett cut the deficit to 75-72 with just under a minute left in regulation. The Cascades got a stop on the ensuing possession, but at the offensive end, Tuchscherer was whistled for a travel as she made her move in the post. Winnipeg’s Jillian Duncan and Robyn Boulanger each went 1-for-2 from the free throw line down the stretch to seal the result.

Thompson and Jessica Parker also scored in double figures with 12 points apiece for the Cascades, who saw fourth-year guard Victoria Jacobse exit due to injury in the first quarter.

Wenke, with 11 points, chipped in offensively for the Wesmen.

The Cascades are now headed into a bye week before hosting the UBC Okanagan Heat on home-opening weekend, Nov. 15-16 at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

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