DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
The Winnipeg Wesmen made things a lot easier on themselves Saturday night.
The Wesmen men's basketball team scored 53 second-half points and pulled away down the stretch to score a 92-82 win over the Fraser Valley Cascades and earn a weekend sweep to open the Canada West conference season.
The two wins represented the first season-opening sweep for the Wesmen since they handed the UNBC Timberwolves two losses to start the 2016-17 season.
Narcisse Ambanza had 22 points to once again lead the Wesmen, who put four players in double figures and shot 42.9 per cent from three. Ambanza also had six rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
"Week by week we're facing different challenges and I think Fraser Valley did some things that we had to adjust to and talk about," Wesmen head coach Mike Raimbault said. "One of the encouraging parts today was a bunch of guys came in off the bench and changed the flow of the game. Where I thought we were playing at Fraser Valley's tempo we had some guys come in and really make a difference. We were able to go a little bit bigger and chip our way back into the flow of the game. To know that we can go to the bench and get that type of production is huge."
The Wesmen won the rebounding battle 47-36, including 19-9 on the offensive glass.
"I thought the first half we were pretty reasonable and the start of the third quarter they came out really strong and we didn't have a good answer for it," UFV head coach Adam Friesen said. "We lost too many (of their) shooters to say. They played great and we've gotta clean up on some things."
Parm Bains led the Cascades (0-2) with 18 points, but shot 6-for-17 from the field and 4-for-12 from three. Daniel Adediran added 17 and five rebounds, and Sukhjot Bains had 15 and five, plus six assists.
The Wesmen head to Alberta next weekend while UFV heads into the bye.