Taylor Claggett made some Canada West history, and the UFV Cascades held off a game effort from the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves, beating the TWolves 79-67 on Friday in Prince George.
In the first quarter, it was the Cascades who came out firing. Taylor Claggett asserted herself in the post, and the Timberwolves were unable to generate much in the way of offence, as UFV held a 23-10 lead after ten minutes.
In the second quarter, with physicality ramping up, Madison Landry drove and drew contact, but no foul was called. UNBC coach Sergey Shchepotkin voiced his displeasure, to the extent that the official ejected him after two technical fouls. That seemed to light a fire under the Timberwolves, as they went on a 11-2 run. Maria Mongomo and Madison Landry were the story, getting to the rim for easy baskets and the half ended in a 42-42 deadlock. After twenty minutes, Mongomo had 16 points, five rebounds, and five steals, while Landry added 13 points and three boards. Claggett was the UFV high scorer with 20 points, to go along with five rebounds.
“They stepped up for each other, and we started to show more patience on offense,” said Dave Holmes, who slid into the head coaching role in Shchepotkin’s absence. “We were sharing the ball and looking for better opportunities. But, more players need to go for it and take good risks.”
Some conference history was made in the second frame as Cascades forward Claggett made the 455th free throw of her career, breaking the Canada West career record.
“Honestly, I wasn’t even thinking of it. It’s a cherry on top of the win, but it wasn’t something I set out to do,” said Claggett. “It’s a byproduct of the way I play, so I keep attacking the hoop. It’s a nice reward to have.”
The third quarter was highly contested as the Cascades utilized sublime ball movement for good looks, while a shorthanded UNBC squad battled for every inch. After Alexis Worrell and Natalie Rathler made big shots late, it was a buzzer beating three-pointer by Claggett to put the visitors up 62-58.
The Cascades picked up their play in the fourth quarter, as star freshman Deanna Tuchscherer made a trio of baskets to stretch the visitor lead to 10 points. UNBC, got the looks they were hoping for, but were unable to convert, and eventually fell 79-67 to UFV.
Claggett led the way for UFV with 30 points, 15 rebounds, and four assists. Tuchscherer added 15 points and five boards.
For the TWolves, Mongomo had 24 points, 12 rebounds, seven steals, and four assists, while Landry had 24 points and six rebounds. Emma vanBruinessen added six points and 14 rebounds in the defeat.
“They are giving us absolutely everything they can,” said Holmes, postgame. “We are asking so much of them, especially when we are shorthanded. We need to find answers, and other people need to step up for them.”
The two programs clash again on Saturday night at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre in Prince George
“We need defence. If we played better defence in that second quarter, the score might have been different,” said Claggett. “Tomorrow, we need to dig in on defence and hopefully get the same result.”