The only third year player Mitch Goodwin leads the Heat with 24, ices the game with free throws late and steals the inbounds to cement the 80-76 win over MacEwan.
Men’s Basketball (Canada West conference play)
|UBC Okanagan (2-3)||28||15||17||20||80|
KELOWNA, BC – UBC Okanagan jumped out to an early lead and never trailed however the visiting MacEwan Griffins kept clawing at the Heat men’s basketball lead through all 40 minutes only to fall to the Kelowna squad 80-76 on Friday night at UBC Okanagan.
With torrid shooting UBC Okanagan jumped out to a 13 point lead after just one quarter (25-13), their largest lead of the game equalled just once again with three minutes left in the third (58-45).
Mitch Goodwin, the lone third year player and the only player not in their first or second year, scored 10 of his game high 24 points in the first including 2-4 from long range. Second year David Manshreck also hit a pair of threes in the frame and contributed eight of his 10 points in the deciding opening 10 minutes.
Carrying an 11 point lead into half (43-32), UBC Okanagan was able to stretch it back to 13 in the third before the Griffins would rally back. It took four and a half minutes into the final quarter after a pair of threes from Keith Gerdes and Lee Danderfer brought the game to within one, 60-59.
Although never surrendering the lead UBC Okanagan never pushed their lead higher than six the rest of the way, and up three (77-74) with 19 seconds left the Heat fouled Lee Danderfer on his game tying three point attempt. Danderfer missed the first one and with that miss MacEwan missed their best chance to tie the game for the first time.
Keith Gerdes was the key that ignited the Griffin comeback, he scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half was perfect from the line (8-8) and hauled in eight boards. Ryan May led both teams in rebounding with 11, he also scored 11 points to give him a double-double in the loss.
The Griffins once again lent on the scoring abilities of Denzel James, coming into the game James was ninth in the conference averaging 17.0 points a game, the 6-foot three forward finished with 22 points on 8-12 shooting (3-6) from outside the arc.
No UBC Okanagan player had more than six rebounds but the Heat just edged the Griffins on the boards by the (46-43) for the night.
“We can still be a much better team defensively, that being said we still found a way to win,” says head coach Pete Guarasci after his team’s win on Friday night. “Because of foul trouble we had to play a lot of guys more minutes than they were used to o and many stepped up tonight.”
“Noma[Obaseki], played a new position, and led our team in rebounding. Aldrich Berrios played more minutes than I would have liked but he only turned the ball over once at the point and scored in key situations for us tonight. Those are just two examples of the team effort on the floor tonight,” continues the coach.
Noma Obaseki snatched the six boards that led UBC Okanagan, he also had six points before exiting the game with five fouls in just 22 minutes of court time. Berrios finished with 13 points hit on 3-4 from the three point line and 4-9 from the field in 35 minutes at the point guard spot.
With the loss in their first ever Canada West road game the MacEwan Griffins record is now 3-2.
The second straight win for UBC Okanagan and their first at home brings their record to 2-3 and the Heat will look to get to .500 tomorrow when they once again host this same team from Edmonton.
Tip-off for the Canada West conference game is at 7 p.m. PST and will be aired online at Canadawest.tv.