Print Edition: January 7, 2015
The holiday season in Abbotsford is, while festive, extremely cold, so who can blame the UFV men’s and women’s basketball teams for spending their New Year’s Eve down south? In states dominated by bikinis and beaches, they got the chance to showcase their talent against premier American competition.
It is a common occurrence for teams to play exhibition schedules around this time in order to “get their legs back” before their conference games resume. For the men’s team, it was Southern California that played host to their exhibition schedule in games against the Vanguard University Lions and the Northwestern College Red Raiders. The Cascades would lose both games, but they still had their impressive moments. Nate Brown registered a game-high 19 of his team’s 56 points against Vanguard in the loss.
A large part of the Cascades’ loss was their inability to hold on to the ball, throwing 24 turnovers to the NAIA school. The Cascades’ game against the Red Raiders was closer than their game with the Lions, but it ultimately ended the same way.
The early 13-5 run from the Red Raiders gave them a lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the game. That isn’t to say the Cascades didn’t come close. Only one point separated the two teams after the Cascades scored the first nine of the second half, bringing the score to 47-46.
That was the closest the game would get. The Red Raiders responded well to the Cascades’ early run and took back the momentum for good this time, winning 87-73.
The Cascades’ Kadeem Willis shone in the game, scoring a game-high 18 for the Cascades, and chipped in five rebounds and a steal.
Coach Adam Friesen also claimed, prior to leaving, that he was looking forward to getting his team back into a “basketball frame of mind,” when he spoke with Cascades Media.
The women wound up going even further south in their search of competition: Phoenix, Arizona. They would get the chance to battle a pair of NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) schools: Glendale Community College and the Phoenix College Bears.
Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be in action this weekend against the Mount Royal Cougars on Friday and Saturday.