Men's Basketball BOX SCORE
Saturday January 7, 2012
UBC's Okanagan campus, Kelowna, BC
UBC Okanagan Heat (2-6) def. the University of Winnipeg Wesmen (2-8)
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The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s basketball team took down the University of Winnipeg Wesmen 79-70 on Saturday to earn their first win of 2012. After losing to the Wesmen in the Winnipeg Christmas tourney, the Heat came out with a fire burning beneath them and key strategies added to their playbook by head coach Darren Semeniuk. The win moved them up to 2-6 in conference play, while the Wesmen fall to 2-8.
“I think commitment to being mentally focused in the game was a key factor in the win tonight,” reflected Heat assistant coach Matt Heyworth. “Not having any relapses where we lose our concentration and allow bad things to happen really showed down the stretch.”
The Heat tightened up their defense and shut down the Wesmen early in the second half before dominating offensively and putting pressure on the score clock. The Heat kept the pace fast and quickened the pace of ball reversal in the second half allowing them to close in on the Wesmen’s lead. Early in the fourth quarter, the Heat charged through to the lead and eventually their first win of 2012.
“We focused on handling their pressure and eliminating what they could do offensively," continued Heyworth. "We talked a lot about containing the ball, working together and making sure we rebounded. They’re very active on the glass and they get a lot of second chances so we tried to limit that in the second half.”
Guard Yassine Ghomari (3rd year, Vancouver, BC) had an incredible game and blasted out 32 points against the Wesmen, including a hat-trick of 3-pointers. Ed “The Energizer” Dane Medi (3rd year, Rome, IT) grabbed 9 rebounds and added 11 points to the score clock. With his blocked shots and tipped rebounds he energized the Heat and demoralized Winnipeg on several occasions in the contest. Freshman guard Bret Macdonald (Port Coquitlam, BC) also contributed 16 points.
“Ed, Yassine, and Bret all had really big games but most of the guys were very focused,” commented Heyworth. “It was a great game for Eddie; he got a lot of intangibles that you don’t count on the stat sheet. We need at least three guys to get it done and they stepped up.”
The Wesmen played strong both defensively and offensively but were unable to hold on to their lead late in the game. Guard Dominique Brown (3rd year, Toronto, ON) scored 16 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. Teammates Mark McNee (3rd year, Richmond Hills, ON) and Eric Zimmerman (4th year, Winnipeg, MB) each added 14 points to the Wesmen total. A force to be reckoned with, Benny Iko (4th year, Laurel, MD) scored 12 points and got 9 rebounds.
“We used some plays that they haven’t seen yet and they were pretty effective,” concluded Heyworth. “Our defense is more consistent than when we played in Winnipeg."
The Heat host the Trinity Western University Spartans next Friday at 8 p.m. at UBC’s Okanagan campus. The Wesmen will visit the Brandon University Bobcats on Thursday at 8 p.m. Both games will be broadcasted live at canadawest.tv.
HEAT NOTES: Yassine Ghomari made 3 out of 3 3-point shots and 5 out of 5 free throw shots, adding to an unbelievable total of 32 points...6‘4” Ed Dane Medi led the team in rebounding tonight with 9 (3 offensive and 6 defensive)...Yassine Ghomari is back to his double digit standards tonight.