By Dan Kinvig. The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team closed out the first semester with a performance befitting their status as the last remaining undefeated team in Canada West.
The Cascades crushed the MacEwan Griffins 95-73 to improve to 8-0, stretching their lead in the Explorers Division to four games.
Nate Brown led the offensive assault, racking up a season-high 27 points, while fellow post player Jasper Moedt chipped in with 18 points and 16 rebounds. And they looked good doing it – both players electrified the crowd with huge dunks in the second quarter.
The victory extended the CIS No. 10-ranked Cascades’ regular-season unbeaten streak to 22 games dating back to last season, and they’re the only program in Canada West that can boast they haven’t lost a regular-season game in the 2014 calendar year.
Featured-MBB vs MacEwan-Nov29-14Denzel James scored 18 points and Lee Danderfer notched 17 for the Griffins, who fell to 3-5 and are tied for fourth in the Explorers Division with UNBC.
“I thought today’s performance was better than yesterday’s,” said Cascades head coach Adam Friesen, whose team was coming off an 83-73 win over MacEwan on Friday. “We’re happy to get two wins, and going into the Christmas break 8-0 is a good place to be.”
The Cascades controlled Friday’s game but had trouble putting away the Griffins, who were within five points with a minute and a half remaining in regulation.
UFV had no such issues on Saturday – they opened a double-digit lead in the second quarter, highlighted by throwdowns by Brown and Moedt. Brown hammered down a two-hander off a give-and-go with Manny Dulay, and Moedt beat the second-quarter buzzer with a strong finish on a two-on-one fast break with Kevon Parchment.
The Cascades stepped on the gas from there, expanding the lead as high as 27 points in the fourth quarter.
“There’s moments where dunks are sometimes worth a little bit more than two points,” Friesen said, reflecting on the plays which seemed to ignite his squad. “They (Brown and Moedt) are trying to out-dunk each other for the season, see who gets more. One person dunks the ball, and the next person’s running harder, trying to find their opportunity.”
When the crowd got fired up, it gave the Cascades a boost, according to Moedt.
“I think that having more involvement from the crowd and the fans really adds the home gym element into it,” he said. “That’s a change that we started to see here more recently at UFV, and those big plays definitely get the momentum going.”
Dominque Brooks had another solid outing, putting up 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, along with an eye-popping seven steals. Vijay Dhillon (11 points) and Kadeem Willis (10 points) also scored in double figures. Dulay, who took just three shots from the field and missed all of them, ran the offence with flair and notched eight assists.
The Cascades didn’t shoot the ball exceptionally well as a team, connecting on just 38.6 per cent of their attempts from the field, but their aggression going to the hoop yielded 37 free throws, 25 of which they converted.
UFV also did a superior job taking care of the ball, coughing up just 12 turnovers compared to 29 for MacEwan.