Two losses last week weren’t enough to knock the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Eagles women’s basketball team out of the final playoff position.
The Eagles fell 56-43 to the Capilano Blues Thursday night in North Vancouver, then dropped a 71-55 decision to the Quest Kermodes Saturday in Squamish.
KPU is now 4-12 (won-lost) on the season, but remain in sixth place in the eight-team PACWEST (Pacific Western Athletic Conference) standings. They are a game up on the Columbia Bible College Bearcats and two ahead of the Langara Falcons with five games to play.
Kwantlen will play the Bearcats tomorrow (Friday) in Abbotsford, and will close out the regular season in two weeks at Langara.
In North Vancouver, the Eagles stayed close to the Blues for 20 minutes before Capilano outscored the visitors 21-9 in the third quarter.
KPU trailed just 21-16 at halftime, but went into the fourth quarter with a 42-25 deficit.
“Too many turnovers and being out-rebounded really hurt us,” said KPU head coach Dan Nayebzadeh, “This game we started really good but we ran out of gas, particularly in offensive rebounds.”
Shilpa Khanna carried much of the offensive load for Kwantlen, scoring 15 points. Haeley Williams was the top rebounder with eight. Sam McPhail contributed with nine points and six rebounds.
Against the unbeaten Kermodes, the KPU squad played a strong first half, leading 14-9 after one quarter and 32-31 at the break.
Quest took over in the third quarter, taking an eight-point lead into the final 10 minutes and never looking back.
“We were much better from the line today, but overall we gave up little things towards the end,” said Nayebzadeh, “We need to find a way to close out our games better.”
Khanna had another huge game for the Eagles, netting 23 points and grabbing seven defensive rebounds. The Fleetwood Park Secondary graduate also had three steals.
Amber-Lee Kavanagh tallied 10 points with five rebounds, while McPhail led the Eagles on the boards with eight rebounds.
Khanna remains among the league leaders in scoring with an average of 16 points per game, while McPhail is fourth in rebounding with an average of 8.75 per game.