They trailed after the first quarter, but the Capilano University Blues women’s basketball team found their stride in the second frame and didn’t look back – rolling to a 79-51 victory over the Vancouver Island University Mariners on Saturday afternoon in North Vancouver.
Much like last night’s contest – a 63-61 win for VIU – the Mariners got out to a quick start and led after the first period of play. Yet the Blues responded with a dominant second quarter, clamping down their defense to allow just eight points while posting 22 of their own to take a 34-22 lead into halftime.
CapU picked up where they left off out of the break, quickly pushing their lead up to 19. The Blues continued to find good looks on the offensive end, which included open shots from the beyond the arc. The main beneficiary from long range was Emma Cunningham, who shot 6-of-12 from downtown in the contest en route to 21 points.
With VIU hanging around heading into the final quarter, the Blues ramped up their pressure to put the game out of reach. CapU poured in 31 points in the fourth while holding the Mariners to 12, powering them to the 28-point win.
Cunningham was one of four Blues in double-figures on the afternoon, as Ashley dela Cruz Yip, Carmelle M’Bikata, and Francis Penafiel all chipped in 12. Dela Cruz Yip added seven assists, M’Bikata tallied 10 rebounds to collect her second-straight double-double, and Penafiel had eight rebounds and four helpers.
On the defensive end, the Blues held VIU to just 23.8% shooting from the floor and a 18.8% mark from beyond the arc, along with forcing 14 turnovers and racking up nine steals.
The Blues bounce back from last night's close loss to improve to 7-3 in PACWEST play and move into first place in the conference. VIU also sits at 7-3, but CapU holds the tiebreaker thanks to a 2-1 head-to-head record during the season series.
"We have struggled to play well on both Friday and Saturday so far in the new year," said head coach Ramin Sadaghiani. "Our preparation going into Friday night hasn't been great so we have to do a better job during the week to make sure we come out of the gate stronger."
Capilano is back in action next weekend when they travel up the Sea-to-Sky Highway to take on the Quest University Kermodes in Squamish. The Blues will be back in North Van on January 26 and 27 when they host the first-place Camosun College Chargers.