The Heat were scorched in the second quarter by UNBC’s Billy Cheng who nails four threes in the frame to shock the Heat as UBC Okanagan is outscored by 21 in the second and are never able to recover falling 83-74 in Prince George.
Men’s Basketball (Canada West conference play)
|UBC Okanagan (2-5)||17||6||21||30||74|
Prince George, BC – UNBC Timberwolves men’s basketball team pulled out a home victory Friday night at the Northern Sport Centre. The Timberwolves (2-5) defeated the UBC Okanagan Heat (2-5) 83-74.
A fast paced game saw the Timberwolves hit their stride in the second quarter. Two early back to back threes, the first from Cheng and the second from Elliott tied the game at 17 and forced a UBC Okanagan time out. After the timeout Cheng came down the floor to hit his second three of the game, starting the Twolves out on an 11-0 run.
Netting 14 points in the second quarter alone, Cheng played a big part in UNBC outscoring the Heat 27-6. Heading into the break UNBC held a 15 point lead over the Heat, 38-23.
Mitch Goodwin (Kelowna, BC) was the Heat’s leading scorer with 18 points, nine in the first quarter, and six rebounds. David Manshreck (North Vancouver, BC) chipped 15, while Aldrich Berrios (Burnaby, BC) contributed 17 points from the point guard position.
The Timberwolves were led by fifth year forward Franco Kouagnia (Yaounde, CMR). Kouagnia posted his second double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 boards. Three other Timberwolves chipped in double-digits, Billy Cheng (Richmond, BC) added 16, Devin McMurtry (Surrey, BC) added 14, and Rhys Elliott (Adelaide, AUS) put up 13 points.
Coming into the game the Heat were hoping to contain Kouagnia and control the paint while winning the rebound battle. They succeeded in one of those tasks as they edged out the Timberwolves 36-33 on the glass but were torched by Kouagnia and the rest of their opponents for 38 points against in the paint.
The lone third-year on the squad, Goodwin has an idea of how the Heat ought to tackle tomorrow to come out on top. “[We have to] match their intensity and [stick] to our defensive scouting report,” he said, while also attributing a bit of bad luck to their fortunes as well in reference to a hot second quarter for the Timberwolves. “Guys who shoot one three per day prior to playing us, seem to enjoy hitting five in the same quarter against us.”
In the third quarter it appeard that the Timberwolves would run away with the game and had the crowd juiced after a two-handed slam from Kouagnia off a McMurtry bounce pass. However slick ball movement and quick transition play kept UBC Okanagan in the game. Trading possessions both teams pushed the ball and found the open man. A buzzer-beater from UBC Okanagan’s Cameron Servatius (Chilliwack, BC) gave the Heat the momentum they were looking for heading into the final quarter, and cut the lead to 59-44.
Kouagnia stepped up in the final 10 minutes for the Timberwolves. The veteran forward established position and was able to net 13 of his 20 points in the final 10 minutes. The Heat were not without an answer, David Manshreck tallied 10 of his 15 points in the final quarter as well. Twice the Heat chipped away at the Twolves lead and brought it back to 10 points but were unable to break into single digits. At the final whistle the Timberwolves notched their second win of the season with a 83-74 win over the UBC Okanagan Heat.
The UNBC Timberwolves and the UBC Okanagan Heat return to the Northern Sport Centre tomorrow night for their final league game before the holiday break.
The game is set to tip off at 7 p.m. and will be streamed live at canadawest.tv
~ With notes from Jesse Olynyk (UNBC Sports Information)