Abbotsford, BC…..The KPU Eagles women’s basketball team improved their playoff hopes after clinching the season series 2-1 over the Columbia Bible College (Columbia) Bearcats, 74-50, on the road in Abbotsford, BC Friday night. The Eagles regular season record advances to 5-14 for sixth place in the PACWEST, while the Bearcats remain in seventh place at 3-16 and two games behind KPU. The Langara College Falcons are in eighth place at 2-17, and three games behind the Eagles. Four games remain on the regular season schedule, and the Eagles head to the Island next weekend to take on the Camosun College Chargers in Victoria, BC on Friday and the VIU Mariners in Nanaimo, BC on Saturday.
First quarter action had the Eagles make small offensive gains, only to have the Bearcats catch up to tie until KPU was able to build a seven-point lead going into the second quarter. The Eagles came out strong in the second quarter and built off their earlier momentum with an eight-point run to increase their gap over the Bearcats. After 20 minutes KPU led Columbia 26-19.
KPU’s guards led the way at the half, thanks to contributions from third-year Jessica Villadiego, Surrey, BC (10 points, three rebounds, one assist, five steals), second-year Shilpa Khanna, Surrey, BC (nine points, five rebounds, three assist, two steals), and third-year Haeley Williams, Maple Ridge (eight points, four rebounds). The Eagles had 21 total rebounds in and shot 71% from the line.
Columbia was led at the half by second-year shooting guard Vanessa Funk Calgary, AB (nine points, two rebounds, three assists) and second-year forward Sarah Rozendahl, Saanichton, BC (nine points, two rebounds, one assist). The Bearcats pulled down 19 boards and shot 50% from the line.
The second half saw a persistent and patient KPU team on both sides of the court, but again an uncontested offensive run by the Eagles caused the Bearcats further damage. The eleven-point gain for KPU in the third quarter brought the score to 62-45 and strong defense limited Columbia to five points in the fourth. With the final buzzer, the Eagles earned their fifth win of the season, 74-50.
At the end of the night, Khanna continued to demonstrate her strength as a scoring leader with 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals. This past week, with 16 games played the second-year guard was ranked third in the PACWEST and tied for 14th in the CCAA with 256 points, which averaged to 16 points per game. The Eagles were also led by Villadiego (15 points, six rebounds, two assists, six steals) and Williams (12 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal). KPU pulled down 41 total rebounds and shot 62% from the line for the night.
Leaders for Columbia included third-year point guard Mandy Van Muyen, Chilliwack, BC (11 points, four rebounds, two assists, six steals) and Rozendahl (10 points, six rebounds, one assist). The Bearcats had a team total of 42 rebounds and averaged 47% for the game from the line.
KPU guard Haeley Williams looks for an open Eagle for a pass
“I thought tonight was a real team effort. We came out with a ton of positive energy and right off the tip, we played hard. We were great on offence in the first half but had to make some adjustments defensively,” commented Eagles head coach Dan Nayebzadeh, “We played a very good two way game in the 2nd half holding CBC to 15 points and shooting 5/10 from the three-point line. Overall, a great team effort and probably our best game of the season to this point.”
CBC: 19+16+10+ 5=50
KPU: 21+20=41 /CBC: 19+23=42
The visiting Eagles will tip off against the Chargers at 6:00pm on Friday, February 20th and against the Mariners at 1:00pm on Saturday, February 21st.
The Columbia Bearcats will host the 2015 PACWEST women and men’s basketball provincial championships in Abbotsford from March 5-7, 2015.
For more information on the Department of Athletics & Recreation, please contact Junelle Mah, sports information and marketing, at 604-786-0804 or at email@example.com.
The KPU Eagles Department of Athletics & Recreation enters its 14th season of interuniversity competition. The Eagles are members of the PACWEST conference and play in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) with 100 student-athletes participating on eight varsity teams in men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, badminton and golf. KPU athletics plays its home games at the Eagles’ Nest (Surrey Campus), Northview Golf & Country Club, Newton Athletic Park, all located in Surrey, BC and the Ace Badminton Centre in Richmond, BC. The Eagles are active in the conference with staff members on various advisory committees and competing to host both provincial and national championships. The student-athletes are mainly from the lower mainland but KPU’s rosters have included student-athletes from North America, South America, Asia and Europe.