Friday, February 19th, 2016
Warner Rentals Court, TCC, Kamloops, BC
FINAL 1 2 3 4 T UBC Okanagan (8-10) 19 16 13 18 66 Thompson Rivers (14-4) 22 19 22 14 77
KAMLOOPS, BC – The UBC Okanagan men’s basketball team were unable to match the ‘Pack in the final regular season series dropping (77-66) this Friday night on the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops (Feb 19). With the win, the ‘Pack have captured their 15th win of the season and remain first in the Explorer Division while the Heat’s record falls to (8-11)
By clinching first the WolfPack have earned a first round playoff bye and the right to host the quarter-finals. Although the loss eliminates UBC Okanagan from the postseason the Heat’s eight wins on the year are three better than their previous Canada West record.
TRU got a double-double from Josh Wolfram (5th year, forward, Kamloops, BC). He had 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Volodymyr Iegorov (4th year, forward, Donetsk, Ukraine) had 16 points. Gerard Gore (5th year, forward, St. John’s, Antigua) added 14 points and was named the player of the game. Gore missed the first half of the season due to injury.
Jeff Tubbs (1st year, guard, West Kelowna, BC) added 11. He got praise from Clark. “I think Jeff Tubbs has played very well since Christmas. He has really done a great job.”
“I thought we competed really hard but they executed very hard on offense,” stated Heat head coach Pete Guarasci. “Their size is very difficult for us to deal with. I am happy with how our guys worked and tried to battle.”
Guarasci feels the last two seasons have been a good learning experience for his young roster. “We are trying to develop our young guys. To be frank: to find out who wants to do the work to develop. It is always great to play against a veteran team like Thompson Rivers. They are well coached. It is a good challenge for our guys.”
UBCO was led by Mitch Goodwin. He had 24 points-19 of them in the first half. “He stepped up and did a great job for us tonight and hit a lot of shots and was really attacking,” stated Guarasci. “I also thought Spencer Thomas stepped in as did and did an excellent job in the fourth quarter at the point.”
TRU outscored UBCO in every quarter except the fourth when the Heat got 18 to the WolfPack’s 14.
The teams will close out the Canada West regular season Saturday (Feb 20) at 7 pm at the Tournament Capital Centre. The WolfPack will honor their three graduating players: Wolfram, Gore and Reese Pribilslky (guard, Victoria, BC) before the contest. The youthful UBC Okanagan squad has no fifth year players and Goodwin is the team’s lone fourth year.
TRU will have a week off and then prepare for the Canada West quarter-final. The best of three series will be hosted by the WolfPack March 3-5th.
The winner of both the women’s and the men’s games on Saturday will capture the ‘President’s Cup’. It is a yearly competition between the two schools in all sports. Going into the games on Saturday, the schools are tied with three wins, three losses and a tie.
If it goes to points for and against: UBCO leads TRU on the women’s side 353-313 while TRU leads on the men’s side 409-390.
TRU won both of the President’s Cups in 2014-15. The school’s split in 2013-14: the ‘Pack taking the men and the Heat the women’s title.
~ Tia Sadler, Heat communications // with notes from Larry Read, TRU Sports Information Officer