By Cascades Media. Close to the final second, tonight’s game between the UFV Cascades women’s basketball team (12-5) and the University of Regina Cougars (15-2) came down to a broken play, two key fouls, and a fateful possession arrow. Ultimately the Cougars grabbed the win to maintain their place in the three-way tie for top of the Prairie division, while the Cascades fall into their own three-way tie for first in the Pacific.
Both the Cascades and the Cougars struggled for points in the first half, but it was Regina’s 5-14 from beyond the arc (compared to UFV’s 1-10) that helped them to a 30-23 lead at the break. The Cascades surged back in the third quarter, tying it up at 30-30 in only the second minute and further accumulating a seven point lead, but they would end the quarter up by only one after a three from Cougars sharpshooter Katie Polischuk narrowed the gap to 42-41.
Incidentally, it would be another Polischuk three, this team with only thirty seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, that would prove to be the crucial blow. While UFV would pull within one, 63-62 on a quick layup from Kayli Sartori, the Cascades couldn’t provide that all-important single point. They gained the ball back, only to lose it again, then forced a ‘jump ball’, only to find the possession arrow in Regina’s favour. A final free-throw from Cougars star Nicole Clarke would seal the deal, after Regina used two strategic fouls to foil Cascades plays and take time off the clock.
Clarke led the Cougars with 19 points, eight assists, and three steals. The sharpshooting Polischuk grabbed 17 points, going 5-10 from the three. On the Cascades side, Sartori compiled 19 points and five steals, while Nataliia Gavryliuk and Aieisha Luyken had 14 points and 10 points respectively.
“The girls battled hard tonight,” said Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer. “We gave ourselves a chance to win and we didn’t execute how we should have. That part of the game is on me and I needed to have the team better prepared for that situation. There are lots of lessons for us to take away from this one. Every game is important now and that starts tomorrow against a formidable Brandon team.”
The Cascades will play at the EAC again today at 5 pm against the University of Brandon Bobcats. The Cougars will take on the TWU Spartans in Langley, also at 5 pm.
Watch the games live at canadawest.tv