CJ Pentland, CapU Sports Information Director / Photos Paul Yates, Vancouver Sports Pictures
After a low-scoring start to the game, the Capilano Blues (9-2) found their offensive stride in the second half and used a shutdown defensive performance out of the break to lead them to a 73-62 victory to the visiting Quest University Kermodes (4-7).
The two teams traded leads over the opening twenty minutes, with both sides struggling from beyond the arc and neither team allowing much room in the paint. Quest shot just 35.7% from the floor and made only one three-pointer in the opening half, while Capilano mustered just 25.8% and a pair of triples.
Leading 29-27 at the end of two, Capilano locked down out of the half and didn’t allow the Kermodes to score for over five minutes, while building their lead up to over 10. Yet Quest didn’t go away, clawing back to once again make it a one-possession game.
As they’ve done throughout the season, the Blues pulled together down the stretch on both sides of the court – clamping down on defence and pushing the tempo to increase their lead back up to double digits and close out the victory.
“We stayed in our pressure, we stayed in our face-guarding of [leading scorer] Dallas [Searles]. I really thought both those things were working in the first half,” said head coach Cassidy Kannemeyer. “I thought that offensively we were struggling [in the first half], and part of it is Quest is really good defensively, and they can grind games out, and part of it was we weren’t trying to get in the paint. And I thought that in the second half we made those adjustments and we got a lot of easy buckets that wore them down.”
Greet Gill led the way for Capilano across the board, scoring 15 points to go along with nine rebounds and six assists. Malik Holmes and EJ Mabone – playing in his first game back from injury – both hit double digits with 10 apiece. The Blues also won the turnover battle, recording 13 steals and forcing 18 turnovers while coughing it up only 10 times – compared to 19 team assists.
Cap now welcomes the Langara Falcons to the North Van on Friday night – a team that comes in looking for revenge after a defeat on their home court back in November. They also sit tied for first place in the PACWEST with Vancouver Island University at 9-2.
Tip-off goes at 8 p.m. at the Sportsplex, and the game will also be re-aired on Shaw TV along with the women’s match-up on Saturday, January 28 at 12 p.m.