CIS men's basketball Thursday roundup: Cascades stun No. 4 Spartans with late-game rally

CIS men's basketball Thursday roundup: Cascades stun No. 4 Spartans with late-game rally

Photo credit Tree Frog Imaging

Victoria 59 Alberta 76 Final Boxscore
Canada West quarterfinal 2 - Game 1

EDMONTON - The University of Alberta Golden Bears basketball team opened up the Canada West playoffs with a convincing 76-59 win over the Victoria Vikes in game one of their best-of-three quarterfinal series Thursday night at the U of A's Main Gym in Edmonton.

The Golden Bears were led by sophomore sensation Jordan Baker, a member of the 2010 CIS all-freshman team, as he recorded the first double-double of his post-season career, banking 18 points and 11 rebounds. Alberta had four other players hit double-digits in scoring as well, led by Todd Bergen-Henengouwen's 13 points, as well as 11 points each from Daniel Ferguson and Kenny Otieno, and 10 from Robert Dewar. In fact, all of Alberta's leading scorers were sophomore players, save Ferguson who is in his fourth-year of eligibility, but first in CIS play after the Malton, ON native transferred from Berry College of the NAIA where he was a two-time all-American.

Victoria was paced by Pierce Anderson's 16 points off the bench, while starter Jeff Spoor contributed nine points. The rest of the Vikes had a tough go on Thursday night, collectively shooting 41% from the field, 19% from outside, and a woeful 55% from the charity stripe.

Alberta, on the other hand, shot 46% from the field, 76% from the line, and drained seven of 19 three-point attempts, including three each from Otieno and Bergen-Henengouwen.

Although Victoria, who split with the Bears in Edmonton during the regular season, opened the scoring on a trey by veteran Ryan MacKinnon, it would be the only time they held a lead on the night.

The Bears went up by seven points after 10 minutes, and had built up an eight point lead at halftime, thanks to a 9-12 performance from the free-throw line, and a 55% success rate from outside.

That advantage ballooned up to 18 points after the third quarter, with Baker's 16 points leading the charge.

Neither side accomplished much in a slow fourth quarter, as Alberta salted away the clock and picked up the win.

Game two of the best-of-three series will tip-off Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm in the Main Gym. Game three, if necessary, would be Saturday at 3:00 pm. The winner of the series advances to the Canada West Final Four.

Source: Alberta Sports Info


UFV 81 Trinity Western 80 Final Boxscore
Canada West quarterfinal 1 - Game 1

LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Fraser Valley Cascades used a 15-0 rally in the late stages of the fourth quarter to earn an upset 81-80 come from behind win over the No. 4 Trinity Western Spartans in Game 1 of the opening round of the Canada West playoffs Thursday at the Langley Events Centre.

Trailing 80-66 midway through the fourth quarter the Cascades went on an game-changing and game-ending run that was completed with a long-distance three-ball with 8.4 seconds remaining from UFV’s Sam Freeman that gave the Cascades the 81-80 lead they would take to the final buzzer. With three seconds to go, TWU had its inbound pass intercepted by Freeman and the Cascades earned their first ever men’s basketball playoff victory.

Playing a UFV team the Spartans had beat by an average of 22 points in their two regular season games, Trinity Western is now forced to win the next two games of the best-of-three series – Friday and, if TWU wins, Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre – in order to keep their season alive.

“I think that we just got into a pretty comfortable place and we thought we had the game won,” said TWU coach Scott Allen. “Then they hit a couple of shots and everyone got a little tighter and we got away from our game plan. It’s a good learning lesson for our guys today about really keeping the pedal to the metal when you get the opportunity.

“It’s a hurtful loss. The guys are taking it pretty hard right now but we’ll see how they respond. If we are who we think that we are, I think they’ll respond properly tomorrow.”

The Cascades were led by Zeon Gray, who had 26 points and nine rebounds, Joel Friesen, who had 23 points and was six for nine on field goals including three for four from 3-point range, and Freeman, who finished with 18 points.

The Spartans were led by Jacob Doerksen, who had 24 points and Tristan Smith, who finished with 15 points. Calvin Westbrook led the team with 10 rebounds.

The Cascades got off to a quick start as everything seemed to be clicking for UFV in the opening quarter. Led by Friesen at the offensive end, with nine points, and a rebound savvy Gray on the defensive end, with six boards, the Cascades dictated the play for much of the opening 10 minutes.

The Spartans were forced to settle for tough shots and long-range attempts – they put up 10 shots from 3-point range and only made three – while also struggling to stop both the Cascades offensive penetration and outside looks. Fraser Valley also did a good job of forcing TWU into foul trouble as UFV went to the line eight times, albeit only good on four of its attempts, compared to the Spartans who didn’t make one trip to the charity stripe.

Trinity Western was able to close a 20-12 UFV lead to a 21-17 lead by the end of the quarter but still found themselves the second best team after 10 minutes.

In the second quarter the Spartans clawed their way back. Shooting 53.8 per cent, TWU turned a four-point deficit into a three-point advantage, 41-38, going into halftime.

Led by Tyrell Mara, who had 11 points and Smith and Doerksen, who each with 10 points, TWU took the game’s momentum. And with a Daniel Horner 3-pointer in the dying seconds, TWU took the lead into halftime and looked like they had found their form.

Then in the third quarter the Spartans picked up right where they left off as they roared out to a 61-50 lead midway through the quarter, capped by a Tristan Smith field goal that gave them an 11-point edge and seemingly control.

But the Cascades were not about to lay down on this night. They rallied hard, once again with the 3-point shot leading the way, and only trailed 63-58 going into the final 10 minutes.

And that set up a dramatic fourth quarter.

Within the first few minutes, UFV got as close as two points when they made it 68-66. But once again the Spartans raised the stakes and went on a 12-0 run that gave TWU an 80-66 lead.

But that’s when Fraser Valley went off.

The Cascades came back with bucket after bucket until they were behind only by two points at 80-78. And despite Friesen leaving the game late with an injury late, the Cascades kept coming and completed the rally with Freeman’s open 3-ball in the final seconds.

It was the Spartans first ever men’s basketball home game at the Langley Events Centre and now TWU will hope to play two more at home as they now need win on back-to-back outings to qualify for the Canada West Final Four.

Game Notes: The Cascades shot 45.0 per cent while TWU was 43.5 per cent…TWU outrebounded UFV 41-28…UFV was 40.6 per cent from 3-point range while TWU was 32.3 per cent…

Source: Trinity Western Sports Info