Sports

KPU Eagles now tied for final playoff position

Christina Brown of the KPU Eagles netted a dozen points in a win over the Douglas Royals. - FILE PHOTO / THE LEADER
Christina Brown of the KPU Eagles netted a dozen points in a win over the Douglas Royals.
— image credit: FILE PHOTO / THE LEADER

Winning twice in one week for the first time this season, the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Eagles women’s basketball team is closing in on a PACWEST (Pacific Western Athletic Conference) playoff position.

In two must-win games at the Surrey campus of KPU, the Eagles edged the Langara Falcons 57-54 on Thursday night then topped the Douglas College Royals 62-59 Saturday.

KPU improved to 6-12 on the season, and with three games remaining on their schedule are tied with the Falcons for the final playoff position. The Eagles hold the tiebreaker, having won all three head-to-head meetings with Langara.

“We played strong defense down the stretch both nights,” said KPU Eagle head coach Dan Nayebzadeh. “We were very disciplined, resulting in two key victories.”

A loss Thursday to the Falcons would have dropped the Eagles two games back, and all but out of contention for postseason play. But in a tight game, Kwantlen came out on top.

KPU built a 20-13 lead in the second quarter, but it was the largest of the game. Langara pulled to within one point by halftime, and the game remained close the rest of the way. There were five lead changes and on seven occasions the game was tied.

Amber-Lee Kavanagh posted a double double for the Eagles with a game-high 16 points and 12 rebounds. Shilpa Khanna added 14 points to go with three steals. Samantha McPhail collected 10 rebounds while scoring nine points.

Still a game out of a playoff position going into Saturday’s game, Kwantlen never trailed against Douglas. The Eagles led 18-10 after one quarter, and 31-26 at half time. The score stayed close until the fourth quarter, when the Eagles pulled away for a second consecutive win.

Kavanagh was again the top scorer with 13 points, and added nine rebounds. Christina Brown netted a dozen points, while Harjot Ladher pulled down 13 rebounds with McPhail grabbing 11.

KPU’s men’s basketball team lost both games on the weekend, and are now out of playoff contention.

The Eagles fell behind by 14 points at halftime, and fell 100-64 to the Langara Falcons Thursday night. On Saturday, Devan Haynes with 14 points, Devonte Pierce with 12, Obi Udevi with 11 and Ali Bosir with 10 all scored in double digits against Langara.

Bosir had a huge game Saturday, scoring 24 points while collecting 16 rebounds against the Royals. Udevi contributed 16 points with Gurpal Mann scoring 13 and Haynes adding 10.

Both KPU squads are on the road twice next weekend, playing in Squamish against the Quest Kermodes Friday and Saturday in North Vancouver against the Capilano Blues.

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