Blues fall short in low-scoring battle

Fourth-year guard Hassan Phills. Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures
Fourth-year guard Hassan Phills. Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures

The Capilano University Blues and Douglas College Royals battled it out in a tough, low-scoring affair on Friday night in North Vancouver, and it was the Royals who pulled away late to grind out a 62-57 victory.

The game was an offensive struggle from the get-go, with the score tied at 13 after one period of play. CapU made a push midway through the second quarter to open up a seven-point lead – the largest lead of the game – when they were able to attack and finish at the rim. Douglas responded with a 7-0 run to tie things up at 25, but the Blues held tough to take a 30-27 lead into halftime.

Neither team found their shooting stroke in the opening 20 minutes, with Capilano shooting 2-of-13 from beyond the arc in the opening half, and Douglas going 0-for-12.

The second half featured only one lead change, and it was when Douglas went in front 58-57 with 2:40 to play in the fourth quarter. The Blues had a chance to re-take the lead and then tie the game when down 60-57 with less than a minute left, but couldn’t convert on either possession. The Royals iced the game at the free throw line in the final seconds to secure the five-point win.

The Blues shot just 31.1 percent from the floor and 12.0 percent from three, while the Royals were slightly better with marks of 32.3 and 16.0, respectively. Capilano won the turnover battle, forcing 21 and committing only eight, but Douglas out-rebounded the Blues 61-41.

Three Blues reached double-figures, with Denver Sparks-Guest leading the way with 14. Wowie Untalan added 12, and Hassan Phills posted 11 to go along with a team-high eight rebounds and four steals.

The season-series between the two teams is now knotted up at one win apiece, with the third and final game going Saturday night in North Vancouver. The Blues sit at 8-9 and will finish the regular season in fifth place in the PACWEST, while 11-6 Douglas could still finish as high as second. Tip-off is at 7:00pm in the Sportsplex.