On the road at Mount Royal Friday night, the UBC Okanagan Heat men's basketball squad were stunned by a virtuoso performance by the Cougars' Deng Awak, which created a lead that would be unrecoverable despite winning the final 30 minutes.
Men's Basketball (Canada West conference play)
|UBC Okanagan (0-3)||9||20||26||18||73|
|Mount Royal (2-1)||26||21||25||16||88|
CALGARY, A.B. – Behind the strength of a 33-point game from Deng Awak, the host Mount Royal University Cougars coasted to an 88-73 win over the visiting University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat Friday night.
A first quarter burst by Awak saw him score 16 of his 33 in the first quarter alone. The Heat would stare down a quick and sizable 26-9 deficit after missing their first seven shots.
The opening period would wind up being the difference maker as the Heat would go on to win the final 30 minutes 64-62.
A 47-29 lead into the half would not seem unrecoverable for the visiting team, particularly behind a strong ten point showing in the first two quarters by Heat forward David Manshreck.
Foul trouble early in the third quarter kept UBC Okanagan off-balance, as they were into bonus just four minutes into the quarter. The Cougars held a 77-55 lead going into the final frame.
In the end, the Heat could not close the gap despite their best efforts, and the Cougars held strong through the final whistle.
Awet Abraha and Derek Wolf joined Awak on the MRU score tally with eleven and nine points, respectively, while Manshreck would wrap up with a team-high 20 points with third-year guard and Kelowna product Mitch Goodwin behind with 15.
Goodwin and Manshreck both had seven rebounds each to lead UBC Okanagan, as a team the Heat was outrebounded 34-28 by the Cougars, MRU also had an an advantage at the charity stripe as the home team went to the line 15 more times then UBC Okanagan (22/28) to (9/13). Both teams hit exactly a third of their three's with MRU netting two more (10/30) to (8/24). UBC Okanagan converted 19 Cougar turnovers into 17 points whereas the Cougs converted 20 UBC Okanagan turnovers into 36 points, seven of those 20 turnovers where in the pivotal opening quarter.
Mount Royal moves up to 2-1 for the season, while UBC Okanagan continues searching for its first win at 0-3. They will get their first chance tomorrow in a rematch at Kenyon Court at 7 p.m.
Watch the action online and stream live stats at canadawest.tv.
~ With notes from Justin McCaffrey, Sports Information Director, Mount Royal University