CJ Pentland, CapU Sport Information Director
The Capilano University Blues men’s basketball team was nearly able to overcome a 12-point halftime deficit against the Okanagan College Coyotes, but couldn’t maintain a late lead and dropped an 82-75 decision on Friday night in North Vancouver.
The difference in the game came down to rebounding, as Okanagan maintained a definitive advantage on the boards throughout the contest. The Blues held the visitors to a 2-of-19 mark from beyond the arc in the contest, but the Coyotes had 16 offensive rebounds and won the rebounding battle 55-37 – which included several key rebounds in the final minutes. Christian Williams was a force for Okanagan, totaling 28 points and 21 rebounds.
“Christian Williams had an amazing game; he had his best performance of the season,” said head coach Cassidy Kannemeyer. “All week we talked about how good they were on the glass, and that one of the big things that you had to do to beat them was box out, and I thought down the stretch we just stood and looked at the ball and Christian just jumped over everybody and got the ball and put the ball in the hole.”
Coming off a second quarter where they scored only 12 points, CapU went on an 18-6 out of halftime to regain the lead with two minutes to play in the third quarter. The two sides traded leads over the rest of the way, but CapU was unable to extend their lead past three, which allowed Okanagan to hang around. With the Blues ahead 69-66, the Coyotes went on an 8-0 with three minutes to play that put them on the path to victory.
“I thought we did a pretty good job in the third quarter, and in the fourth quarter maybe we settled a bit – I’ll have to watch the tape – but ultimately we couldn’t stop them and they chuck and chased, and they won and they deserved it," said Kannemeyer. "They had energy right from the tip, and we couldn’t snag the momentum like we usually do in the second half. And that’s what happens when you flirt with danger every game and you think you can just turn it on whenever.”
Denver Sparks-Guest was Capilano’s leading scorer, posting 24 points to go along with 11 rebounds and six steals. Michael Kelly had 13 points and five rebounds, and CJ Campbell added 11 points off the bench. As a whole, the Blues shot just 32.9% from the floor and 25% from three.
The Blues and Coyotes will rematch tomorrow afternoon for the Capilano’s final home game of the season and the rubber match of the two team’s three games this season; CapU won their first meeting 126-117 back in November. Tip-off is at 3:00pm in the Centre for Sport and Wellness.