Friday, January 9th, 2016
UBC Okanagan, Kelowna, BC
FINAL 1 2 3 4 T Thompson Rivers (6-3) 11 6 10 18 45 UBC Okanagan (6-3) 14 10 11 13 48
KELOWNA, BC - The home UBC Okanagan women’s basketball team was able to capture their first win of 2016 from the on Friday night at the UBC Okanagan gymnasium after grinding a 48-45 victory over the visiting WolfPack. With the win tonight, the Heat move to a record of 6-3, which is not only adding to their best record since their CIS birth in 2011, but also claiming their first win from the WolfPack since 2013.
Both teams now boast 6-3 records and are tied for second in the Explorer division.
It is no surprise that neither team shot with any kind of efficiency in a game where the score totaled under 100. Both team’s seemed almost allergic to making baskets, the Heat went (14-62) giving them only a 22.6% from the field compared to TRU’s equally abysmal (17-63) 27%. The Heat however, were able to convert on 65% (17-26) of their free throw attempts compared to the Wolfpack, who also struggled from the stripe finishing the game (6-15) 40%.
No UBCO player scored in double digits, second year guard Vanessa Botteselle came off the bench to lead the victories nine points. Three forwards: Robyn Aulin-Haynes, Kayla McFadden, and Jordon Korol all finished with seven points. The Heat had eight of its 11 players make the score sheet. This distribution of points played an instrumental role in the squad's win. Of the 48 points scored by UBC Okanagan, 21 were from the team’s subs.
Kassie Colonna led the WolfPack with 16 points, and 18 rebounds giving her a double-double, her fourth of the season, Leilani Carney added eight points and Emma Piggin followed with seven. Newcomer Jordan MacLean was a welcome addition to Scott Reeves rotation, she hauled in 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes.
The Heat quick out of the gate to start the game and were able to capture the lead quickly in the first quarter with second year guard, Vanessa Botteselle and rookie, Jordan Korol claiming nine of the Heat’s 14 points.
In the second quarter, the tight defense continued by both teams. Ball pressure and battles in the paint led to both teams scoring only ten (UBC Okanagan) and six points (Thomson Rivers) in the quarter. UBCO wnet into the break with a (24-17) lead.
The second half started with Thomson Rivers opening up with a five point scoring streak as captain Kassie Colonna took charge with a layup and two free throws to narrow the Heat’s lead to four (22-26). Although the Heat struggled to effectively score they were able to maintain the lead after ending the quarter with a lay up by fourth year Kayla McFadden. Her hoop put UBCO up eight (35-27) with ten minutes left to play.
The Heat continued to play tenacious defense in the fourth but the savvy WolfPack went on a 12-2 run. TRU took the lead with just under three minutes to play when Leilani Carney hit a three to put the visitors up one (42-41). After a Heat timeout it was a three point jump shot from rookie Robyn Aulin-Haynes that returned the lead to UBCO.
Free throws made by captains Emily Kanester and Claire Elliott iced the lead giving them a 48-45 win over the 'Pack.
As the Heat’s reputation for defence and ball pressure was once again on display as the guards for the Heat dogged the backcourt of TRU all game long.
The Heat were able to claim 11 steals in tonight's matchup and are first in Canada West in that category. Against TRU third year guard Olivia Johnson was able to take four balls off of the WolfPack.
The battle on the boards in tonight's matchup was close as the Heat trailed with 48 rebounds to Thomson River’s 55.
The Saturday match between these teams has been rescheduled to Saturday, January 30th (2 p.m.) and will be played at the Warner Centre in Kamloops.
Next action for UBC Okanagan will be when they travel to Calgary next weekend (Jan. 15-16) to play the Mount Royal Cougars.
~ Tia Sadler // Heat Communications