Saturday, November 26th, 2016
Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre, Kamloops, BC
FINAL 1 2 3 4 T UBC Okanagan (1-7) 12 20 10 11 53 Thompson Rivers (3-5) 16 16 22 14 68
KAMLOOPS, BC – After the heartbreaking loss on Friday night the visiting UBC Okanagan men’s basketball team struggled in the second half and allowed a tie game at the break turn into a 68-53 loss at the hands of the hometown Thompson Rivers WolfPack.
Shooting just 5-24 in the final 20 minutes allowed TRU to wear down a solid UBC Okanagan defensive effort on the Warner Rentals Court on Saturday night at the Tournament Capital Centre and send UBCO to their seventh straight defeat. Tied at 32 at the half the ‘Pack only shot 15-39 (38.5%) themselves in the second half. Both teams stunk from three with the home team hitting one more then UBCO (2-12 versus 1-9). It was rebounding and second chance points that pushed TRU past the Heat.
Tipping point in the match was the edge on the glass. The much bigger TRU team out rebounded UBCO 53-39 and had 21 second chance points, compared to just eight from UBC Okanagan. Undersized normally the Heat were also missing David Manshrek a top rebounder and interior defender, and 6’9″ post Ryan Morck this past weekend.
Offensively Mitch Goodwin led the way for the Heat with 19 points and a team-high share with six rebounds. Austin Penrose and Spencer Thomas both had six boards also while Penrose added 10 points. Goodwin unable to get the jumper to fall attacked the rim and did nearly half of his damage from the charity stripe. He finished nine of 10.
First year players were notable for the Heat on the night. Kelowna Owls Nav Sandhu and Matt Lafontaine each logged minutes, Nav finished with a career best eight points, Lafontaine who hit for six on Friday, his best in Canada West so far this season, added five on Saturday.
Kamloops product Justin Melnychuk saw action in his home town, his first of the season. Triston Matthews the other freshman also fared well scoring late himself.
Size was hard to defend for UBC Okanagan as 6’7″ Volodymyr Iegorov put up All-Star numbers on Saturday night for TRU. The 2015-16 Canada West men’s basketball third team All-Star finished with 22 points, 14 rebounds and four assists. 6’5″ post Joe Davis scored 19 points and hauled in eight rebounds and both Luke Morris and Mike Rouault just missed double-doubles for the ‘Pack. The 6’5″ Rouault with eight rebounds and eight points while 6’4″ Morris had seven points and nine rebounds.
The loss has earned the TRU men’s teams the victory in the annual Presidents’ Cup Challenge between the schools winning (4-0). With just volleyball left to play to play there is no way for the Heat to catch the ‘Pack. This is the 11th straight year TRU has claimed the men’s portion of the competition. This year on the women’s side the Heat have a (3-1) lead. The challenge between the school’s dates back to 1993 and was issued in the spirit of friendly athletic competition to encourage excellence in performance, sportsmanship and friendship among the students, faculty and staff of the two institutions.
TRU head coach Scott Clark:
On the Contest:
“There was a sense of urgency for the guys. That is always nice to see. Whenever you play there has to be a bit of an edge to you. Today we had that”
On Joe Davis:
“I’m not surprised. He had a good summer. He is a workman type guy. He comes to practice every day hard. Your performance is going to mirror the effort you put in at practice.”
UBCO head coach Peter Guarasci :
On the Game:
“I think we competed for the first half and we couldn’t handle their physicality on the offensive glass. We gave up a lot of O boards and gave them too many second chance points and points in the paint.”
On Final Weekend before Christmas preparation:
“We need to work on the same stuff: getting better on both ends of the floor. We need to find out from our young guys who is ready to step up.”
Both teams finish the 2016 calendar year on the road. TRU, now (3-5), travels north to play the UNBC Timberwolves this weekend. The (1-7) Heat will head to Vancouver to play the No. 2-ranked UBC Thunderbirds. The second straight rivalry weekend for UBC Okanagan will see a Friday (Dec. 2) night tip-off at 8 p.m. in War Memorial Gymnasium. The final game before the holidays will tip-off on Saturday for UBCO at 7 p.m.
~ With notes from Larry Reed // TRU Sports Information