Two teams battling for position at the top of the PACWEST standings squared off on Friday night in North Vancouver, and the Capilano University Blues women’s basketball team came out on top with a 82-66 victory over the visiting Camosun College Chargers.
Capilano and Camosun came into the contest as the top two scoring teams in the conference, but it took a while for both sides to find their offensive stride. Capilano started to find better looks midway through opening the frame, and took a 16-12 lead into the second quarter.
The Blues came out much stronger in the second, and were able to both find good looks from beyond the arc and earn trips to the foul line. CapU made the most of those opportunities, shooting 11-of-12 from the charity stripe and 4-of-7 from three-point land en route to 29 points in the frame. Ashley dela Cruz Yip hit a pull-up jumper right before the first-half buzzer, giving the Blues a 45-33 advantage heading into the break.
Three Blues were in double-figures at halftime, as Reiko Ohama had 12 and Carmelle M’Bikata and Francis Penafiel both scored 11.
The Chargers made a push out of halftime, cutting the deficit down to five and forcing a Capilano timeout. It then became a two-point game, but a three-pointer from Ohama and an Emma Cunningham three-point play on back-to-back possessions helped the Blues restore an eight-point lead. CapU took that eight-point advantage into the fourth quater, leading 61-53.
Capilano upped their defensive pressure in the final frame, forcing a number of turnovers to help push their lead to 15. Camosun called a timeout with just over six minutes remaining, and mounted a comeback to cut the deficit back to single-digits.
Ye the Blues always had an answer, as while the Chargers hung around and looked poised to make a run, CapU found ways to maintain a comfortable margin. With some strong rebounding and free throw shooting, Capilano closed out an 82-66 win.
Ohama led all scorers and tied a career high with 25 points, as she shot 7-of-14 from the floor, 4-of-9 from three, and 8-of-10 from the line. M’Bikata tallied 18 points to go along with seven rebounds, and Penafiel had 15 points off the bench.
As a team, Capilano shot season-best 63.9% (7-of-11) from three-point land, and were efficient from the free throw line – going 25-of-28. On the flip side, they held Camosun to 15.0% mark from beyond the arc.
The Blues improve to 10-3 on the season and remain in top spot in the PACWEST, while Camosun falls to 7-4. The two teams have now split their season series, as Camosun took the opener 80-74 back in November in Victoria. The third and final match will go Saturday afternoon in the Sportsplex, with tip-off at 1:00pm.