Abbotsford, BC…..The resilient sixth-place KPU Eagles (7-14) gave the third-place Douglas College Royals (13-8) a quarter-final battle in Game One of the 2014/15 PACWEST Provincial Championships at Columbia Place, hosted by the CBC Bearcats. The Eagles ultimately fell to the Royals 66-58 in overtime, and Douglas will advance to Game Five tomorrow at 1:00pm to take on the VIU Mariners.
The Eagles and Royals regular season series ended at 2-1 for Douglas College and the 2014/15 history saw KPU consistently improve after a 61-46 loss on November 14th and a 57-50 nail-biter on January 24th. Last Thursday’s showdown in New Westminster would foreshadow the competitiveness of the playoff race between the two teams as KPU demonstrated they were not going into the post-season without a fight. The game on February 26th saw a rejuvenated Eagles squad come from a five-point halftime deficit, dominate the third quarter, and pull off the 52-48 win.
Today’s game saw two focused teams ready to compete as first quarter scoring came to a draw at 16, with the Eagles keeping pace and only down by a single point to the Royals at the half, 30-29.
KPU’s fifth-year post Samantha McPhail, Vancouver, BC had a tremendous start to the afternoon with eight points, five rebounds, two assists, and two blocked shots. Third-year guard Haeley Williams, Maple Ridge, BC was also strong on offense and chipped in seven points, two rebounds, one assist, and one steal.
Leaders for Douglas College after 20 minutes included second-year guard Simran Bir, Surrey, BC with 12 points, one rebound, and two assists as well as third-year forward Chloe Kennedy, Summerland, BC with six points and three assists.
Both teams pulled down 18 rebounds apiece, while the Eagles shot 50% from the line and the Royals 75%.
KPU's McPhail in her final game as an Eagle
KPU saw a return of their third quarter magic as their defense held Douglas College to seven points, and hold a slim lead at 41-37. The Royals would persist until the end of the fourth quarter, as a late free throw would tie the score at 53, sending Game One into overtime in front of a roaring PACWEST crowd.
The Eagles and Royals each traded three’s to open overtime, but KPU would only score five points during the five minutes while Douglas College’s Kennedy put up 10 points to secure the win for the Royals, 66-58.
In her final PACWEST CCAA game, McPhail ended her KPU basketball career with a ‘Player of the Game’ nod and four back-to-back games in which she achieved a double-double (for a total of six on the year). Today’s final stats for the Criminology major included an impressive 19 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, three blocked shots, and one steal.
“Sam did a great job of protecting the paint by defending Douglas's tough post players,” stated Eagles head coach Dan Nayebzadeh, “She blocked or changed a ton of shots, and kept us in the game with her toughness.”
Eagles third-year guard Jessica Villadiego, Surrey, BC had an excellent game (14 points, three rebounds, two assists, three blocked shots). Williams and second-year guard and 2014/15 PACWEST 2nd Team All-Star Shilpa Khanna, Surrey, BC each had seven points. Third-year forward Amber-Lee Kavanagh, Langley, BC led in rebounds with 13, while the team pulled down 48 total boards for the game and shot 55% from the line.
The Royals offensive leader was Kennedy (21 points, three rebounds, four assists, two steals), while third-year forward Nanaya Miki, Osaka, Japan, led their team in rebounds with 13. The Royals shot 62% from the line and pulled down 50 team rebounds.
“I thought our team competed very well today. Overall I was proud of our effort and our perseverance in times of adversity,” said Coach Nayebzadeh, “Again, Sam was absolutely brilliant in carrying us on her shoulders and giving us her best game of the year.”
DC: 16+14+ 7+16+13=66
KPU: 18+30=48/DC: 18+32=50
The Eagles thank the CBC Bearcats for a great tournament and wish them all the best with the weekend.
Photo Credit: KPU Sports Information (inset), CBC Bearcats (body)
For more information on the Department of Athletics & Recreation, please contact Junelle Mah, sports information and marketing, at 604-786-0804 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.