VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds (13-2) look to bounce back at War Memorial Gym against the Fraser Valley Cascades (9-5) on Friday, February 11and at 8 p.m. (PT). There will only be one men’s basketball game this weekend, as Saturday night’s home game against TRU has been rescheduled for Wednesday, February 23 at 6 p.m. These last weeks of the regular season will give time to refine the game in preparation for the Canada West playoff tournament which begins in early March.
This ‘Birds traveled to Vancouver Island last weekend for a pair of games against the Victoria Vikes, who brought their own six-game winning streak to the game.
The Vikes started Friday night with a spirited first quarter, up 30-12. A poor shooting performance didn’t stop the ‘Birds from relentlessly chipping away at the home lead, heading into the half 40-31.
Any momentum the visiting team was able to muster was systematically halted by a run from the Vikes. A strong fourth-quarter push took UBC to within one point of a Brian Wallack layup with 30 seconds to go. It would be the closest game, as free throws sealed UVic’s 90-84 victory. James Woods led the way with 24 points and six rebounds, while four of his teammates scored in double digits in the team’s first conference loss of the season.
Saturday’s game started eerily similar for the visiting team, who found themselves trailing 28-15 after one. The Vikes continued to extend their halftime lead to 54-32. Seven’ Birds scored in a competitive third quarter that set the stage for an impressive comeback that was narrowly missed. A dominating 35-19 fourth quarter was sparked by Woods, who dropped 18 of his game-high 34 points in the final period to bring the Birds under six. The deficit proved too big in the short time remaining as the Vikes won Game 2 96-89.
The T-Birds head home on familiar rims against a UFV team that split their last weekend in Kelowna against the UBCO Heat. Zubair Seyed had 25 points off the bench in Friday night’s 79-91 loss. The Casacades regrouped with a rebounding 97-79 win on Saturday, fueled by Jordyn Sekhon’s 30 points.
Friday will be the Cascades’ third visit to War Memorial Gym this season, as UBC won both games in early November 70-64 and 80-72.
UFV will be looking to move onto the court this weekend as they lead Canada West in three categories that directly reflect their fast-paced style of play. The Cascades are holding their opponents to 37.5 percent from the field, shooting 32.8 defensive rebounds per game and getting 71.8 field goal attempts per game.
The T-Birds host this style of basketball at their Point Gray campus, where they posted an undefeated 8-0 record at War Memorial Gym. Most of the Birds’ scoring offense rests on the trio of Woods (18.5), Grant Audu (17.2), and Sukhman Sandhu (16.8). On Friday night, UBC has a chance to show the rest of Canada West that last weekend in Victoria was nothing more than an offensive anomaly.
Tickets to all Thunderbirds games are free this year, but you must register in advance here.
Friday’s match will also be broadcast live on Canada West TV presented by Co-op.