Pacific Division foes the Victoria Vikes sail into town to play the Heat

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ubc heat

Cary Mellon

KELOWNA, B.C. – Although the Heat play at home next weekend for their final league game this is the last Friday and Saturday that basketball action will take place at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

The final home game will be next Sunday versus Thompson Rivers. This weekend the Heat will host the 6-8 University of Victoria Vikes after falling to the No. 3 ranked T-Birds in both last Friday’s and Saturday’s affair.

The Friday night’s game of the Heat-Vikes matchup will be the CIS WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association) shoot for the cure game. This is the first time in the five years since the event launched that all 43 CIS school’s with women’s basketball programs will take part in the initiative that raises money for the fight against breast cancer.

For more information on the CIS and the Shoot for the Cure visit their website at: http://english.cis-sic.ca/sports/wbkb/2011-12/releases/20120113-cis

Both the Heat and the Vikes will be wearing pink warm-ups and the coaches on both sidelines will be running their team in pink so everyone should come out wearing pink to Friday’s game with a tip-off time set for 6 p.m., the game will be held in Kelowna at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Saturday will be an afternoon affair with the teams taking to the hardwood at 4p.m., again at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

GAME TIMES

Friday, February 3 – The UBC Okanagan Heat host the University of Victoria Vikes (6 p.m. PST at UBC’s Okanagan campus Gymnasium, Kelowna, B.C.)

Saturday, February 4 – The UBC Okanagan Heat host the University of Victoria Vikes (4 p.m. PST at UBC’s Okanagan campus Gymnasium, Kelowna, B.C.)

Both games will be streamed with live video: www.canadawest.tv

HEAT (2-12)

CIS National Ranking: N/A

CanWest Standings: 6th in the Pacific division

Last Week: 0-2; Fri 81-57 loss to UBC, Sat 71-40 loss to UBC

Streak: 7 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 to the third ranked T-Birds, as UBC as able to use its athleticism to playing a stifling brand of defense. Friday night the Heat were not intimidated playing in UBC’s War Memorial starting out hot and taking an early lead on to fall 81-57. Saturday the Heat came out flat and could not score, eventually falling 71-40.

Update on injured guard Melissa Irish:

On progress with the knee: “It wasn’t good after the ACL surgery in April. I thought it would be and I played one weekend and it was so fun, but then it just wouldn’t get better. There was a staple that was moving around in there, it got loose, so if I tried to do anything it would swell up and whatnot. So yesterday it was a really easy procedure they went in and took it out. So I can walk today, it’s a bit stiff, but if all goes well it should heal up in about a week and then start hardcore rehab.”

Her roles this year on the sideline: “It’s a bit tricky being on the sidelines, because you can’t step in and help the team out so that was really frustrating at first, but now I try and stay engaged the whole game and put in my two bits at halftime and keep them motivated. I think the girls have done a good job. The rookies have actually stepped up and done a great job.”

Thought’s from Coach Heather Semeniuk:

On goals for rest of season: With the Heat out of the playoff hunt Heather has her team on focusing on the things they can control on the court: “I think the girls are looking to finish competing strongly in the last few games,” says Semeniuk. “I think just to finish off and get back to where we were a few weeks ago when we were right in there competing.”

Their fast-break versus their half-court set: “I think we break really well. We’ve got some good passers and definitely some athleticism. But in the half-court if we play our game and keep attacking on offense, we can be really strong.”

On the demands of the packed schedule for the players/team: “I think they’re doing fine with it. Even though our league games seem like it’s very quick, we did start up the end of August/beginning of September. So we have been playing training … so at this point it doesn’t feel short. It feels like we’ve put in a few months of basketball. I think they’ve done really well- the whole team has. We’ve had some extra demands put on us with extra days of travel. We’ve done two swing trips where we had to fly, which we haven’t done before … there’s a lot of waiting and sitting around and whatnot. But I think it’s exciting for them.”

Happy to be home: UBC Okanagan have won both of their games at home at score 14 more points per game at home than on the road (66.2 – 52.1), surprisingly they do not shoot better on the familiar rims of the UBC Okanagan gymnasium, nicknamed ‘The Furnace’. The Heat at home shoots 38% from the field and 26.9% from three, and on the road those rates are 33.3% and 31%. The team does shoot better from the free throw line in The Furnace with a 72.9% compared to 62.7% on the road. The one area that the Heat do significantly better at home is handle the ball – averaging just 20.7 turnovers in a contest compared with 26.7 on the road.

Briker is coming on: Third year point guard Ashley Briker is starting to hit her stride for UBC Okanagan the past few weeks. Briker has led her team in scoring the last three games with teams highs of 15, 16, 9. Her season average is now up to 8.5 points per game.

This weekend’s Matchup:

VICTORIA VIKES (6-8)

CIS National Ranking: N/A

CanWest Standings: 4th in the Pacific Division

Last Week: bye

Streak: 1 win

2011 CanWest Record: 15-9 (6th)

2011 playoffs: 0-3

Last CanWest Title: 1999

Last CIS Title: 2002

Weekend in review: This past weekend had UVic on their bye week, their last matchup was Jan. 20-21 and UVic was in Winnipeg and captured a road split, downing Manitoba 76-58 after falling to Winnipeg 72-64 on the Friday.

Head-to-head: The Heat have not faced the Vikes at all this season, nor in recent memory have these two teams even scrimmaged each other.

Coach Semeniuk’s thoughts On UVic: “Vic has some good players, some good combination guards and some big players. I think they’re well coached, and the thing for us is to stay with them and play the tempo. I have seen a mix of man-to-man and a little matchup zone they like to play. They work really hard at it. A lot of active defense there, so we’re going to have to be really sharp and make sure our offense is crisp, our passing is good and we don’t give up the ball.”

“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.”

Playoff Aspirations: UVic currently sits in fourth spot in the Pacific Division, with six wins trailing Trinity Western by just two wins. The top three teams in the division make the playoffs with a wildcard spot available for the fourth best Pacific Division team or the fifth best Prairie Division squad. Currently Winnipeg would be that fifth best team from the Prairies with an 8-8 record. UVic will desperately need to capture both games against the Heat to hope to have something to play for in the last weekend of league play.

Player to watch: Fourth year Deborah Yeboah is the team’s leading scorer averaging 16.5 points per game, she also hauls in 4.6 rebounds a game and hands out 2.5 assists per game. Camosun College transfer will be familiar with the Kelowna gym having played in ‘The Furnace’ when she was with the Chargers is second on the team in scoring at 11.2 points per game and manages 5 rebounds a contest.

Former Penticton Laker: Cassandra Goodis a second year guard for UVic out of PenHi is playing and shooting well for the Vikes knocking down the three ball at a 47.6% clip. She averages 9.6 points per game to go along with 5.4 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game.

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

VICTORIA VIKES

Key additions: F Chelsea McMullen, G Shaylyn Crisp, G Jenny Lewis, Jordyn Newman

Key returnees: G Debbie Yeboah, G Cassandra Goodis, F Sarah Semeniuk, F Jessica Renfrew

Key departures: F Kayla Dykstra, F Vanessa Forstbauer, F Carmen Lapthorne, G Jane Anholt

VICTORIA, BC – It’s a rebuilding year for the Victoria Vikes, but if one coach can turn it around, it’s the Vikes new bench-boss and Canada’s junior national team head coach Rich Chambers.

In his first season at the helm of the Vikes program, Chambers will need to find some grit and rebounding prowess on a team that has only one fourth-year senior in Deborah Yeboah. Camosun College transfer Chelsea McMullen will add skill at both ends of the ball on a squad that will also feature three rookies including guards Jenny Lewis and Shaylyn Crisp. The 10-player roster is rounded out by two sophomores and three juniors.

Forward Allison Mulock returns to add another option for Chambers off the bench. First-year guard Jordyn Newman will dress this season for the Vikes, coming off a redshirt year in which she recovered from a knee injury. Forward Natalie Janssens also returns to the roster for UVic after sitting out the past season.

http://www.govikesgo.com/

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