Brent Mutis, CapU Sport Information & Compliance Officer
The hardwood at Douglas College has not been kind to the Capilano Blues women's basketball team the last few years but a hard-fought 57-54 win over the Royals Saturday may have broken the spell as well as earning them a weekend sweep.
Kate Mallette scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds, leading the Blues in both categories, as they improved their PACWEST record to 8-2.
"We grinded out a tough but satisfying road win," said Blues head coach Chris Weimer. "It’s been close to five years since we last beat the Royals in league play in their gym... safe to say it was a relief to get that monkey off our back."
Mallette, a 6-foot-2 transfer to CapU from the University of the Fraser Valley, scored 13 points in a dominant third quarter where she hit a pair of threes as Capilano turned a two-point halftime deficit into an eight-point lead going to the fourth.
It's an encouraging development for the Blues who were without Mallette's services in the first term as a result of her transfer.
"Katelyn had a great weekend, considering it’s been over a year since she last played in a meaningful game," said Weimer. "She had a solid game Friday night, scoring, rebounding and playing solid defence. On Saturday at Douglas she turned it up a notch and had a spectacular performance."
The only other player in double figures was Reiko Ohama who had 10 points.
Free-throw shooting proved to be important in the tight, low-scoring game and the Blues were a stellar 89.5 per cent with an 17-for-19 showing at the stripe.
On Friday, Capilano's MacKenzie Smith led all scorers with 13 points and she added seven rebounds including four on the offensive glass. Ohama filled several columns on the stat sheet for Capilano with seven points, five assists, three rebounds and a steal.
The Blues never trailed in the game and were tied only briefly in the first quarter. They took full command of the night with a dominant third quarter that saw them outscore the Royals 28-16. It was a balanced attack in the third with eight different players getting on the scoresheet including Martha Melaku getting six of her eight points on the night.
The Royals clawed back a bit in the fourth, outscoring the Blues 16-7. Smith had all seven Blues points in the final quarter.
Coming up for the Blues is a visit Jan. 25 and 26 from Vancouver Island University, the No. 1-ranked team in the country. Tip-offs are 6 p.m. on the Saturday and 1 p.m. on the Sunday.