In men’s basketball the Heat and Griffins are dead even for the last Explorer Division playoff spot after UBC Okanagan’s loss on Friday night (66-59). All-important rematch tips-off tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Friday, February 12th, 2016
UBC Okanagan, Kelowna, BC
FINAL 1 2 3 4 T MacEwan (8-9) 20 10 18 18 66 UBC Okanagan (8-9) 12 11 19 17 59
KELOWNA, BC – The UBC Okanagan Heat lost to the MacEwan Griffins 66-59 on Friday night in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium. The Griffins and Heat now both hold records of 8-9 on the season.
After tonight’s result, MacEwan will move into a third place tie in the Explorer Division, and putting UBC Okanagan in a must win tomorrow or they will be out of the playoff spot they had held coming into this weekend.
On his team’s loss Friday night, Heat head coach Pete Guarasci said, “I just think we’re not executing defensively well enough. We’re not executing on both ends of the floor well enough to win these games against the top half of our division.”
The Heat trail in the season series two games to one and need to win in the final game of the series against the Edmonton squad. Tip-off for the game that may well decide the playoff fate of either team. will be at 7 p.m. (PST). in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium.
Also in the hunt for third place in the Explorer Division is Mount Royal, with an improved record of 7-10, as they beat UNBC on Friday night.
The fourth quarter saw the most competitive play between MacEwan and UBC Okanagan, with the game close right to the end. UBC Okanagan were down 55-48 with four minutes left in the game, but played their way into a one point game, 55-54 in favour of the Griffins, with three minutes and four seconds remaining. With 1:45 left in the game, the Heat tied the score at 57-57 on a converted and-one from guard Mitch Goodwin. The Griffins re-took the lead with 58 seconds left, though, on a made three-point shot from guard Thomas Jereniuk, and never gave it back. The Heat were forced to foul four times in the final 30 seconds, and the Griffins played shut-down defence to hold on for the win.
MacEwan finished shooting 41.5% (37.5 3FG%) ahead of UBC Okanagan’s 39.2% (32.8 3FG%), while the Heat shot better from the free throw line, at 80%, while the Griffins shot 69.9% from the stripe. The Griffins finished with more rebounds (33-31), and steals (1-0), while the Heat finished with the advantage in assists (12-9), and blocks (2-1).
Leading scorers on the night were Cameron Servatius (16) and Mitch Goodwin (14) for the Heat, and Denzel James (15) and Thadius Galvez (12) for the Griffins.
Randall Mosca of the Heat and Chris Mooney of the Griffins led the game in rebounds, with seven apiece. Mosca also led the game in assists, with four. The Griffins’ Keith Gerdes and the Heat’s Cameron Friesen and Austin Penrose all led the game in blocks, with one each. Gerdes also led the game in steals, with one, as he was the only player to record one on Friday night.
After the first quarter, the Griffins led the Heat 20-12. Denzel James of the Griffins and Cameron Servatius of the Heat led the scoring in the opening frame, with four points apiece. MacEwan as a team shot 58.3% (80.0 3FG%), and made both free throws in the quarter. UBC Okanagan shot 36.4% (12.5 3FG%) and made three of four from the free throw line in the opening ten minutes of play.
The first half ended with MacEwan in the lead, 30-23. The second quarter saw Denzel James continue to lead the Griffins in scoring, netting four points in the period to end the half with eight. Cameron Friesen led the Heat in first half scoring, earning six points in the second quarter. The Griffins held the edge statistically in shooting percentages (46.2% – 36.0% ; 40.0 3FG% – 9.1 3FG% ; 100 FT% – 66.7 FT%) in the first half. The teams finished the half even in blocks (1-1), and rebounds (15-15), while the Heat held the edge in assists (5-4).
After three quarters, MacEwan had the lead against UBC Okanagan, 48-42. The Heat’s Buzz Truss led all scorers in the quarter, with seven points, and Denzel James and Ryan Coleman of the Griffins each had five. Through three quarters, Denzel Jones led all scorers in the game, with 13 points going into the final frame.
~ Grayson Leahy // Heat sports information