EDMONTON, AB – The UBC Okanagan struggled to score in Edmonton tonight versus the defensive minded University of Alberta Pandas and fell 84-40 in Canada West women’s basketball league action Saturday night.
For the fourth time this season, the No.5 ranked Pandas’ basketball held an opponent to 40 points or less. Alberta kept the newcomers to CIS and Canada West to 40 points by only allowing the Heat to shoot 23 percent from the field. This strong defensive performance was just one night after holding the Thompson Rivers’ University WolfPack to 3110 points and a 23% shooting percentage.
Third year point guard Ashley Briker (West Kelowna, BC) was at the top of the Heat scoring chart, putting away 15 points, including half of UBC Okanagan’s three-pointers with two, while fourth year post Roslyn Huber (Kelowna, BC) added 10 points and a team high five rebounds.
Alberta dominated the glass, doubling up on the Heat in rebounds 55-27 in the contest. Both teams had troubling handling the ball tonight as UBC Okanagan turned the ball over 26 times, whereas the Pandas coughed it up 23.
Veteran guard Nicole Clarke pumped 20 points to lead the Pandas, while sophomore forward Saskia Van Ginhoven added 14 points and seven rebounds. Ottawa born forward Anneka Bakker chipped in with 11 points, while Caitlin Stiksma came off the bench to score 11 points in just 15 minutes of work.
Alberta opened the contest with a strong opening quarter, outscoring the Heat 20-6 through the first 10 minutes before the Heat picked up the pace in the second quarter, scoring 13 points to trail 37-1110 at halftime.
The Pandas pushed the pace in the second half, putting up 47 combined points to UBC Okanagan’s 21 to pick up their fifth straight win since the 2012 calendar year began.
The UBC Okanagan Heat fall to 2-10 in their inaugural CIS season, and they return to action next when they travel to Vancouver to play the UBC Thunderbirds in a doubleheader at War Memorial Gymnasium. Friday the game will start at 6 p.m. PST, Saturday tipoff is an hour earlier at 5 p.m. PST.
With the win, Alberta improves to 11-3 on the season and continues to hold onto second place in the Prairie Division in Canada West. Saskatchewan trails with a 110-4 record, while Calgary is in fourth at 110-5. However, the Pandas travel next weekend to Calgary, and then to Regina to face the No.1 ranked and 11-0 Cougars. Those two weekends will likely determine the Pandas’ final positioning heading into the playoffs.
HEAT NOTES: Kiersten Schulhan came in off the bench for the Heat and played 2110 minutes, tying Ashley Briker for most floor time on the night…Ashley Briker went 5 for 6 from the free-throw line.