KELOWNA, B.C. – The Heat are in the midst of the hardest portion of their schedule. Last weekend they were on the road and played and lost to the No. 4 Saskatchewan Huskies and the No. 5 Alberta Pandas; this upcoming weekend the travel may be easier but the opponent will be just as hard as the 2-10 Heat will play twice against the CIS No. 3 UBC Thunderbirds.
Tip-off on Friday night is at 6 p.m.; Saturday the game starts an hour earlier at 5 p.m., both games to be played at War Memorial Gym on the UBC Point Grey campus.
Friday, January 27 – The UBC Okanagan Heat versus the UBC Thunderbirds (6 p.m. PST at War Memorial Gymnasium, UBC’s Point Grey campus, Vancouver, B.C.)
Saturday, January 28 – The UBC Okanagan Heat versus the UBC Thunderbirds (5 p.m. PST at War Memorial Gymnasium, UBC’s Point Grey campus, Vancouver, B.C.)
Both games will be streamed with live video: www.canadawest.tv
CIS National Ranking: N/A
CanWest Standings: 6th in the Pacific division
Last Week: 0-2; Fri 1102-55 loss to SASKATCHEWAN, Sat 84-40 loss to ALBERTA
Streak: 5 losses
2011 CanWest Record: N/A
2011 CanWest Championship: N/A
2011 CIS Tournament: N/A
Last CanWest Title: N/A
Last CIS Title: N/A
Weekend in Review: The Heat lost twice as the No. 4 Saskatchewan Huskies and the No. 5 Alberta Pandas did not show the newcomers a good time on their visit to the prairies. Friday night the Huskies outpaced UBC Okanagan with a 1102-55 victory, and on Saturday the Heat played in Edmonton and fell 84-40.
Battle of the boards: UBC Okanagan was heavily outrebounded last weekend in their games. Versus the Huskies the Heat were outrebounded 40-22, while on Saturday the Pandas went to work on the glass, outrebounding the Heat 36-27. Coach Heather Semeniuk is making rebounding as a team a priority this week, stressing to her players focus on defense ad rebounding.
Defense. Defense. Defense: UBC Okanagan had been making some progress as a team defensively, holding opponents under 80 points for five straight games before this past road trip. With the regression coach Semeniuk had a lot to say about her team’s defense.
Defensive goal: “Being focused on playing a better style of defense as a team,” says Semeniuk. “I think for us to be successful, we need to be able to stop teams better. And part of that – a component of good defense – is to box out and rebound well on defense. So we’re trying to focus on those points right now, and basically helping each other a little bit more, stopping the ball, where the ball is, on-court awareness.”
On the progress of development of players: “I see real improvement in those kids, and I see a definite step up. Maddie [Madison Kaneda] and Roz [Roslyn Huber], Ashley [Ashley Briker] … they’ve proven they’re that calibre. Also, Krystal Schouten is very definitely capable of playing at the CIS level, and doing well. Her good size, and her good game knowledge, her basketball IQ, it’s strong. And the other girls as well; they’ve only got one more year after this, so they’re trying to make the best of it. The first year kids, they don’t back down from anyone.”
Pair of fourth years: Huber and Kaneda are more than holding their own; both players have logged a ton of minutes for the team and are putting up good statistics. Huber is averaging 14.1 points per game and shooting 51.2% from the floor. Kaneda is averaging 12 points per game and is second on the team in rebounding with 4.8 per game, impressive rebounding numbers for a 5-8 guard. Schouten leads the team in rebounding hauling with 4.110 a game.
This weekend’s Matchup:
UBC THUNDERBIRDS (10-2)
CIS National Ranking: No. 3
CanWest Standings: 1st in the Pacific Division
Last Week: 2-0; Fri beat Manitoba 75-38 and Sat beat Winnipeg 65-4110
Streak: 6 wins
2011 CanWest Record: 17-7 (5th)
2011 playoffs: 0-2
Last CanWest Title: 2008
Last CIS Title: 2008
Weekend in review: After a smothering performance against Manitoba that saw Kris Young, Zara Huntley and Kristen Hughes combine for 47 points, 11 assists and 18 rebounds, they came back the next night and made a very tough Winnipeg side look average at home, cruising to victory on the strength of Young’s double double (10 points, 11 assists) and 18 points from Huntley.
Head-to-head: The UBC squads played twice in the preseason; the first time was a controlled scrimmage in Penticton with no score kept, and the second saw the T-birds slide by the Heat 75-67.
Coach Semeniuk’s thoughts on UBC: “I think we know them pretty well. We’ve come a long way since we’ve played them, and I can be very sure that they have as well,” points out Semeniuk. “They’re definitely a very formidable opponent.”
“We actually enjoy playing them because they play by the rules of the game, we don’t get any extra physicality except for what you would expect in a basketball game.”
Road warriors: The T-Birds won all four road games convincingly over the past two weeks, and are rewarded with a weekend at home in what will sure to be a big inter-campus rivalry in years to come. The T-birds boast a 5-1 record at home and on the road.
Inside the numbers: The T-Birds have looked better and better on both sides of the ball as the season rolls along. They are second only to No. 1 Regina in scoring margin, and continue to give shooters nightmares with their conference-leading five blocks per game. A solid +4.42 turnover margin always helps to keep the win column full too.
Player to watch: Kris Young has emerged as a real star in just her second year of CIS competition. She sits third in the conference with 16.8 points per game, and is a regular contributor in just about every important statistical category. She is essentially tied for the team rebound lead as one of three T-Birds averaging six rebounds per game, while also leading with 4.4 assists and 2.5 steals.
Running the show: Point guard Kristen Hughes has settled into her floor general role nicely in her first campaign in a T-Bird uniform. She chips in 10 points per game and is the team’s only major three-point threat.
Others to watch: Huntley is second in team scoring with 13.8 points per game and is one of the three top rebounders on the team, along with Alex Vieweg, who is scoring 12.8 per game with ruthless efficiency. Her .542 field goal percentage is second in the league among qualified players, while Young isn’t far behind in fourth.
Preseason info from Canada West
Key additions: Kristen Hughes, Cassandra Knievel, Stephanie Bell, Adrienne Parkin
Key returnees: Zara Huntley, Kris Young, Alex Vieweg, Chloee St. Amour
Key departures: Devan Lisson,Virginia Watson, Lia St. Pierre
VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds are once again expected to contend for the Canada West conference championship with a solid core of veteran players, joined by exciting new additions.
Zara Huntley and Alex Vieweg, both fifth-year front court players, lead the group of nine who return from last year’s squad. They finished 1-2 in team scoring last season, with Huntley averaging 13 points a game and Vieweg 12.5. The pair also led UBC in rebounds with Vieweg grabbing three more (161-158) than Huntley in regular season play in 2010-11.
Second-year player Kris Young is looking to build on a solid rookie campaign where she started 15 games. Transfer Kristen Hughes will see the court after sitting out a season. She will replace the graduated Devan Lisson at point guard, while Cassandra Knievel, Stephanie Bell and Adrienne Parkin join UBC as new recruits who starred in BC high school basketball.