For the fourth straight Saturday night the UBC Okanagan Heat women's basketball team is unable to earn a win; in spite coming back from a 23 point deficit in Prince George the Heat fall 76-70.
|UBC Okanagan (3-5)||16||14||21||19||70|
Prince George, BC - The UBC Okanagan Heat were the Timberwolves first and last victim of 2014 as UNBC was able to pull out their first victory of the season Saturday night at the Northern Sports Centre in Canada West women's basketball action as the Heat fell 76-70 to the home town team.
The UNBC Timberwolves move on to (1-7) while the UBC Okanagan Heat fall to (3-5) on the season and remain winless on Saturday nights (0-4).
Down 23 (53-30) at the half it was veteran guards Sarah Allison (Surrey, BC) and Angela White (North Vancouver, BC) that the UBC Okanagan Heat turned towards to lead the comeback. Allison put up a team high of 17 points while White added 12. Allison scored 12 of her points in the second half as the Heat nearly erased the 23 point halftime deficit.
The Timberwolves came out fast to start the game, with a spinning jumper from rookie forward Vasiliki Louka (Athens, GRE) just 15 seconds in as she led the T’wolves with a double-double, 19 points and 10 rebounds. Fifth year forward Sarah Robin (Prince Rupert, BC) chipped in 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.
UNBC dominated by working both inside and outside the key. Louka battled through a collapsing defence and was able to kick it out to her guards. With four minutes left Louka kicked the ball out to Kylie Pozniak (Okotoks, AB) for a three, forcing the Heat to play honest.
“They couldn't miss,” head coach Heather Semeniuk stated when asked what happened in the second quarter that saw UNBC score 31 points compared to 14 for UBC Okanagan. Semeniuk also pointed out that UNBC shot 58% from the field in that 10 minute span, while UBC Okanagan could only shoot 28% from the field and score 30 points in the first half. “Unfortunately [UNBC's hot start] really hurt our offensive flow and we lost our focus on getting defensive stops.”
Coach Semeniuk was able “to shift the momentum,” at halftime after her team was able to weather the UNBC storm, restating that the Prince George team “was on fire and got all the breaks,” in the first half.
“Second half was ours,” finished Semeniuk. “[We] outscored them 40-23 and got it [the 23 point UNBC lead] down to a three point spread with about four or five minutes left.”
The third quarter is where UBC Okanagan took over. Holding the Timberwolves to only seven points, the Heat were able to make up some ground and cut the deficit. Back to back unanswered possessions brought the visiting Heat back to single digits. A three point play by Angela White (North Vancouver, BC) followed by a three from Sarah Allison (Surrey, BC) put the Heat down nine, 58-49, with just over a minute left in the third.
UBC Okanagan forced 13 turnovers in the third quarter.
Both teams battled in the fourth, trading possessions while the Timberwolves held on to their lead. The closest the Heat got to the Timberwolves was with 7:52 on the clock when Claire Elliott (North Vancouver, BC) converted a three point play. But veteran Sarah Robin (Prince Rupert, BC) and rookie Hannah Pudlas (Prince George, BC) showed strength down the stretch, scoring the Timberwolves' next 10 points, bringing UNBC a 76-70 victory.
After the holiday break, UBC Okanagan will travel to Thompson Rivers University for a double-header against the WolfPack. UNBC will open up their second half of the season on the road as they travel to MacEwan University.
~ With notes from Jesse Olynyk (UNBC Sports Information)