A playoff spot is nearly clinched.
By Brian Jones
[associate sports editor]
After splitting their last two homes games against the Camosun College Chargers and Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners, Kwantlen’s women’s basketball team is poised to reach the post-season for a second-straight year.
On Friday night, Jan. 25, they recovered from a 38-19 deficit at the half to outscore their Camosun counterparts 34-10 in the final 20 minutes, and came out with an incredible 53-48 victory.
Jeanneine Yngreso’s three-pointer with just over a minute to play in the fourth, gave Kwantlen a 49-48 lead – their first advantage since the opening quarter. From there, it was just a matter of staying composed and clamping down on the Chargers, something Yngreso and the Eagles accomplished with ease.
“In the first half, she was 0-7,” said head coach Dan Nayebzadeh. “But, she always manages to hit those big shots when we need them. We just trust her. Yes, we give her the green light, but sometimes it’s too green.”
Centre Samantha McPhail led all scorers with 14 points and added eight rebounds. Forward Amber-Lee Kavanagh contributed 12 points and eight rebounds as well.
Camosun’s Ella Goldschmid was the only Charger to break double-digits, scoring 12 points in what was their third loss in a row.
On Saturday night, Jan. 26, the Eagles had a chance to move into third place with a win over VIU, but last year’s provincial runner-ups proved to be too much, as the Mariners came away with a 71-61 win.
Yngreso scored 14 points in the loss while Kavanagh posted 10 points and 13 boards.
“We’re really excited [about playoffs], but we have to make it first,” said Nayebzadeh. “There’s still a chance we don’t make it if we don’t play well in these last few games of the season.”
Kwantlen has a tough test ahead of them this weekend, as they host the number-one ranked Capilano University Blues, and the Quest University Kermodes – who sit one place ahead of them in the PacWest standings.
The women’s matches are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday night (Feb. 1) against Capilano and again on Saturday night (Feb. 2) versus Quest.