UBC Okanagan bigs do better at controlling the middle, but second-half scoring woes see Heat unable to upset playoff bound UNBC.
Men's Basketball (Canada West conference play)
|UBC Okanagan (3-17)||23||16||9||16||64|
KELOWNA, B.C. – The UBC Okanagan Heat would finish their regular season at 3-17 when they were defeated at the hands of the second-seeded Explorer Division UNBC Timberwolves in Kelowna Friday night 85-64.
Fifth-year Timberwolves center Franco Kouagnia had a slow start but once again dominated the ballgame on the inside, going for 16 points to just miss a double-double with nine rebounds.
Fellow frontcourt running mate Devin McMurtry did complete a double-double for UNBC with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Heat coach Pete Guarasci opted to run rookies Ryan Morck and Dean Johnston against the frontline of McMurtry to some success in the first half. Johnston had 8 of his team-high 12 points in the first quarter.
Morck went for 10 points and nine boards to just miss the double-double to collect Heat Player Game Honours.
The lead would change 18 times throughout the first two and some quarters before the Timberwolves created some space for good shortly into the fourth.
The Heat came out guns blazing in the first quarter, going strong at the frontline of the Timberwolves, eventually winning the quarter 23-22.
They continued to hang tough throughout the final stages of the half despite the comeback by the Timberwolves, fueled largely by McMurtry and a warmed up Koagnia in the second. The Okanagan team trailed only by five heading into the half, however.
It was the second half where things would take a turn for the worse, with the Heat’s leading scorer and rebound getter in David Manshreck taking an early seat with foul trouble, as well as an untimely scoring drought that saw the home team manage just 25 points in the final two quarters combined.
The Heat bench was highly productive, getting up 30 points in part thanks to Morck’s scoring.
Second-chance points, particularly in the second half, buoyed UNBC to its victory, putting up 20 in that category.
While UBC Okanagan now completes the 2014-15 campaign, UNBC finishes 12-8 and heads to playoffs. Their opponent in the first round is still to be determined.
UBC Okanagan will not graduate any fifth-year players off of the roster, though UNBC will send out Devin McMurtry, Franco Kouagnia, and Jeff Chu following the postseason.
Be sure to check canadawest.tv for playoff coverage as the league moves into the postseason.
Friday night's game was the 4th annual KidSport Game. As with the previous years every three pointer made by the Heat would see $50 donated to KidSport™. The men's team had the desire to add to the total going towards the charity shooting 18 threes, sadly they just hit two of them to raise $100. The 11% was by far the lowest percentage the team shoot from outside all year. This year the women's team hit of five from long range which put $250 in KidSport's coffers. The total amount to KidSport from threes is $350 bringing the four year total to $2450.
KidSport™ Kelowna was launched in the 2002 and provides grants for local children 18 years and under to participate in a sports. Last year KidSportTM earned $500 off the ten three-pointers potted by the Heat.