Chloe Kennedy nets 28 as the UBC Okanagan women took down the Pronghorns to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Friday, January 27th, 2017
1st Choice Savings Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta
FINAL 1 2 3 4 T UBC Okanagan (3-12) 22 9 20 21 72 Lethbridge (4-13) 14 18 15 19 66
LETHBRIDGE, AB – The UBC Okanagan women’s basketball team earned their first victory of the new year on Friday night, with a 72-66 win in the University of Lethbridge’s 1st Choice Savings Centre.
The win is crucial to keeping the Heat’s playoff hopes alive, as the top 12 teams in Canada West make the postseason and the UBCO women are just a win back of that last spot. A sweep completed by a win tomorrow night could put the Heat into a playoff spot heading into the season’s closing stretch.
The Friday night game was closely contested late, but the visiting side was able to seal the win with their performance at the free throw line in the final minutes.
A made three-pointer from Claire Elliott put the Heat ahead by five, 63-58, with 3:38 left in the game. Four straight made free throws from Zoe Dahl brought the Pronghorns within a single point, down 65-64 with 2:31 remaining. From that point, the Heat took over and only gave up one more basket before the final buzzer. Vanessa Botteselle, Jordan Korol, Emily Kanester, and Chloe Kennedy all made shots from the charity stripe to stretch the lead to six at the end of the game.
Chloe Kennedy’s contributions went far beyond just free throws, as she netted a game-high 28 points to lead the Heat, her career best. Emily Kanester added 14 points and seven assists in the game, while Botteselle and Kennedy led their team in rebounds with seven apiece.
For Lethbridge, Zoe Dahl led the scoring with her team-high 20 points. Jessica Bachynski finished behind her with 17, and pulling down 11 rebounds to complete her double-double. Teesha Olson (14) and Katie Keith (13) also scored in the double digits for the Pronghorns.
The Heat had the better night statistically in most categories, earning the better field goal percentage (38.3% – 31.3%), three-point percentage (34.6% – 24%), and more assists (18-13). The Pronghorns finished with more rebounds (44-33) and more second chance points (15-10), and their defence held the Heat to just nine points in the second quarter. The difference, though, was the Heat bench, who put up 11 points to just two from their counterparts.
The UBC Okanagan Heat (3-12) and the Lethbridge Pronghorns (4-13) will play again Saturday night, with tip-off set for 5 p.m. Mountain Time, 4 p.m. Pacific.
~ Grayson Leahy, UBC Okanagan