Saturday, November 21st, 2015
UBC Okanagan, Kelowna, BC
FINAL 1 2 3 4 T Mount Royal (1-5) 27 18 22 17 84 UBC Okanagan (3-3) 11 24 26 26 87
KELOWNA, BC – With .8 seconds left on the clock, Aldrich Berrios tied the game up with a three point shot. But the excitement did not end there, as Berrios went on to score a buzzer beater from half court to end the game. Heat win (87-84) the thrilling Canada West men’s basketball game on Saturday night over the visiting Mount Royal Cougars.
It looked like the comeback wasn’t going to happen for the home team after Cougar’s point guard, Derek Wolf, scored a three pointer at the end of the shot clock and just 18 seconds left in the game to bulge the MRU lead to (83-79). The Heat refused to lay down without a fight, as Dean Johnston battled for a lay up putting the Heat back within two points. The Heat quickly fouling sent the Cougars’ leading scorer, Brett Layton, to the free throw line. He missed his first and drained his second. The score stood at (84-81) in favour of MRU.
With no timeouts left for UBCO, Berrios received the in-bounded ball, dribbled the length of the court where he stopped two feet behind the three point line and found nothing but net to tie the game with .8 seconds left.
Mount Royal called a time out, and attempted to throw an alley-oop to Layton for the win. The ball, untouched, soared out of the UBC Okanagan’s end line. The ball reverted to the Heat, Randall Mosca calmly in-bounded to Berrios, he turned and completed the runner with his feet at half, sinking the ball as the final buzzer went.
Berrios, who clenched the final points for the Heat, stated that “a lot of credit has to go to Randall and the rest of the team for fighting and clawing our way back into that game. We started off slow but really showed our character by battling our way back into the game. The two big shots I hit were just bound to happen whether by me or by someone else on the team. We just had a feeling. That was our game to win, our game to take, and we did it,” said the excited second year guard after hitting the two shots that brought the crowd at UBC Okanagan to their feet.
The Heat came out strong in the final fifteen minutes of the game, battling the Cougars who led the entire game, but just by six going into the final quarter (67-61). 18 of the 26 points scored by the home team in the fourth quarter were from transfer guard, Randall Mosca. The valiant effort from the point guard put the Heat within reaching distance of the win,and gave his running mate in the back court, Berrios the opportunity to win the game.
“Going into the fourth quarter, we were down. Coach [Pete Gurarasci] talked about buckling down, getting shots, and executing offence, and I think that is what we did. We came out with the win,” stated Mosca, who dominated the fourth quarter. “We just focused and did what we had to do.”
Three players on the Kelowna squad scored in the double digits to lead the Heat to victory. The backcourt duo finished with 52 of the 87 UBCO points. Top scorer was Mosca, he finished with a career high of 31 points. On any other night the Calgary guard would have been the story of the game with his fourth quarter scoring barrage. Berrios finished with 21, (3-6 on threes), Dean Johnston with 12 and a team high six boards. Freshmen guard Spencer thomas also hauled in six rebounds.
UBC Okaganan hit eight of 16 (50%) attempted three point shots, 21 of 24 (.875) from the charity stripe, and 29 of 63 (.46) from the field.
The Cougars came out strong, scoring 27 points in the first quarter, they hit three of the four from long distance 9-13 from the field (.69%). For the game MRU shot the ball well finishing (7-16, 44%) from three and (28-58, 48%) from the field. The Cougars struggled from the charity stripe finishing just at 57% (21-37) over the forty minutes.
Mount Royal’s big man was once again their leading scorer, Brett Layton finished with a double-double of 26 points and 14 points. Penticton native Derek Wolf scored 16 points on the night, nine of which were from 3-point shots (3-8).
Despite scoring 24 points to the Cougars 18 in the second quarter, the Heat went into the third trailing Mount Royal (45-35). The third quarter saw both squads scoring 21 points.
“We’re ecstatic, we feel like we’re on top of the world right now,” claims Berrios. “We’re definitely going to enjoy this one but come Monday it’s back to work and back to business.”
After tonight, UBC Okanagan climb to a record of (3-3). This is their best start and first three game winning streak in their CIS competition history. The Heat face off against MacEwan next weekend in Edmonton, (Nov 28-29th) at 7 p.m. PST and 6 p.m. PST respectively. The Cougars current record is (1-5) and they will host the UNBC Timberwolves next weekend.
~ Rachel Parker // Heat communications