There was a resounding call of “Timber” over the weekend as the University of Manitoba Bisons basketball clubs cut down the visiting University of the Fraser Valley Cascades. The men’s club came away with the weekend sweep, while the women earned a split.
The U of M started the weekend in dominant fashion, with a solid opening half helping to bury the Cascades in a 93-86 win.
The game got off to a roaring start for the herd — who outscored the Cascades 20-15 in the first quarter — only improving on the lead with a 26-17 second quarter to take a 46-32 lead into the half.
Coming out of the break, UFV threw everything they had at the U of M. The visitors shot 50 per cent from field goal range and 60 per cent from three-point range in the third quarter, but the U of M kept its offence rolling with 23 points to keep things tight.
The Cascades put up 28 points in the third quarter, and the Bisons countered and kept the edge 69-60 entering the fourth quarter. UFV again outscored the U of M — this time 26-24 — but the herd held on for the 93-86 win.
UFV made a stand in game two of the weekend Saturday, but a strong fourth quarter from the U of M swung the game back in an 80-74 Bisons win.
The Cascades held a slim edge in the first half, outshooting the Bisons and building a slight 39-37 edge when the buzzer sounded. UFV looked to pull away in the third, with a Parm Bains jumper giving the club an 11-point lead before the U of M responded.
The herd cut down the lead to five at the end of the quarter and turned up the heat in the fourth. A James Wagner jumper made it 73-72 Cascades, Jaskarn Bajwa sank a free-throw and the Bisons then sank eight straight free-throws to claim the win.
A tight match turned into a romp Friday as the Bisons kept rolling while the UFV offence stalled in a 78-63 win for the herd.
Things started well for both sides in the opening quarter. Manitoba took an early lead and the Cascades kept pace, not allowing the Bisons to pull away. A pair of Deanna Tuchscherer free-throws tied the game 13-13 and UFV built a lead of its own, but a late layup by Keziah Brothers tied things back up at 20-20.
In the second quarter, the Cascades started to fall, but the club’s shots toward the hoop did not follow suit.
UFV went 4-15 from the field and missed all five three-pointer attempts to muster only eight points in the quarter. Meanwhile, the U of M seized the opportunity and built a 33-28 lead heading into halftime.
Coming out of the break, things only got worse for the visitors. The Cascades again failed to sink a three in the third quarter and shot just 29.41 per cent from the field, while the U of M was lights-out, going 75 per cent from beyond the arc and 71.43 per cent within it.
The Bisons outscored the Cascades 26-19 in the third quarter to take a 59-47 lead, eventually walking off the court with the win.
However, Saturday was less than ideal for the herd, as UFV stormed back to split the weekend with a 76-65 win.
It was the home side holding the edge early Saturday, with the U of M up 33-32 at halftime. The Cascades outscored the Bisons 17-15 in the third quarter to take back the lead, then buried them in the fourth.
Deidre Bartlett sank a shot from range to give Manitoba a 58-57 lead, but Fraser Valley went on a 10-point run to open up the gap again. Emma Thompson had a three of her own late, but Fraser Valley again squashed the moment with a run to end the game with the win.
Following the holiday break, the Bisons will be back on the court Jan. 3 and 4 in Edmonton to face the MacEwan University Griffins.