Heat Look to Finish Strong as Wolf Pack go for the Playoffs

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ubc heat

KELOWNA, B.C. –( ISN) The upcoming weekend for the Heat is about finishing strong as a team and showing that they have improved all season long.

Even though UBC Okanagan is playing a home and home series versus geographic natural rival and travel partner the Thompson Rivers WolfPack, the WolfPack are looking to advance to the playoffs with a victory or two over the Heat, so the Heat are playing the final two games just for them. There is no rivalry yet; the Heat are too new to the league to worry about rivalries. This set of games will be the same as every other matchup UBC Okanagan has played this season – improving their execution on the court every time out.

The 2-14 Heat will play in Kamloops Saturday night at 5 p.m., with the game scheduled for the Tournament Capital Centre when they play their first game of the year versus the 7-8 WolfPack. The Heat will then turn around and host the same ‘Pack at home Sunday at 4 p.m., on the hardwood at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Sunday is the final home game and as such the Heat will honour a graduating player, Audrey Siebert-Timmer.

Sunday the Heat will also be hosting their basketball games with KidSport BC. There are many activities planned during the games to promote KidSport, and also the Heat will be donating $50 to KidSport for every three pointer made. For the hockey fans in the crowd there will be a giveaway featuring an Alex Burrows autographed jersey. The Heat players will also be giving away autographed items, including the CIS game balls at the end of the competition.

For more info on the great work KidSport does please visit their website: http://www.kidsportcanada.ca/

 

GAME TIMES

Saturday, February 11 – The UBC Okanagan Heat versus the Thompson Rivers WolfPack (5 p.m. at the Tournament Capital Centre, Kamloops, B.C.)

Sunday, February 12 – The UBC Okanagan Heat host the Thompson Rivers WolfPack (4 p.m. at UBC’s Okanagan campus Gymnasium, Kelowna, B.C.)

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

HEAT (2-14)

CIS National Ranking: N/A

CanWest Standings: 6th in the Pacific division

Last Week: 0-2; Fri 74-46 loss to UVic, Sat 86-61 loss to UVic

Streak: 9 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 hosted the Vikes last weekend and were unable to notch a win. Friday night the usually reliable home offense went missing and the Heat fell 74-46. Saturday the Heat were led by another great performance from captain Roslyn Huber (4th year, post, Kelowna, BC) as she netted 25 in a 86-61 losing effort.

Thoughts from head coach Heather Semeniuk:

 

Motivation: “The team is motivated to finish the season on a positive note and to play with a purpose,” says Semeniuk. “They love to play and to compete. Playing with pride this weekend will be important to them.”

Reflections on year one: “This year has been really great,” comments Semeniuk. “There is nothing better than to be constantly challenged to play the game at a higher level. In exhibition play early on in the season there were some big eye-opening experiences. The physicality and speed of CIS basketball has been a huge adjustment for the team. The swing trips were tough. We played 3 of the top 5 teams in Canada on back-to-back weekends. That was definitely our biggest challenge.”

“I am very proud of the girls for their ability to stay positive,” continues Heather, “to keep working hard and to never quit. They have improved so much over the season. Getting the 2 wins against Brandon and Manitoba were huge for this team in their first year in the Canada West.”

Life without Kaneda: The Heat will be without fourth year guard Madison Kaneda (Vernon, BC) again this weekend. She missed last weekend and has been shut down for the rest of the year with an injury. The Heat will be missing her 11.1 points per game, her 4.9 rebounds per game and her outside shooting (37.5% from three).

Leaders: Other than the aforementioned Kaneda the Heat are led statistically by Roslyn Huber. She is sixth in the Canada West in field goal percentage (.494), ninth in steals (2.4 per game), and 10th in scoring (13.2 points per game average).  Guard Ashley Briker (3rd year, West Kelowna, BC) is 15th in the Canada West in assists (2.8 per game).

Step up: Look for guards Emily Kanester (1st year, Vernon, BC) at 7.6 points per game and Angela White (2nd year, N. Vancouver, BC) with her 4.5 points per game to pick up the slack in scoring. Post Krystal Schouten (2nd year, Winnipeg, MB) will be counted on to continue to rebound (4.9 per game).

Seniors night: Audrey Siebert-Timmer: Audrey has not used her five years of eligibility but is graduating in April with her degree in Engineering and will head to a Masters program with a schedule not conducive to basketball. Audrey played four years at UBC Okanagan but missed the 2010/11 season as a medical red-shirt. She came back this season to play in her fourth year, the team’s first in Canada West. In her first three years with the team she played for one provincial championship and a provincial bronze medal, and in 2009/10 her BC championship team placed fifth at the national championships hosted in Kelowna at UBC Okanagan in March of 2010.

Audrey, as evidenced by her degree in engineering, is not surprisingly a strong academic student-athlete. Audrey earned the CCAA national scholar award twice: for the 2007/08 season and the 2009/10 academic year.

This weekend’s Matchup:

THOMPSON RIVERS WOLFPACK (7-9)

CIS National Ranking: N/A

CanWest Standings: 5th in the Pacific Division

Last Week: 2 wins; Fri 66-61 over TWU, Sat 76-58 over TWU

Streak: 2 wins

2011 CanWest Record: 9-15 (9th, missed playoffs)
2011 playoffs: N/A

Last CanWest Title: N/A

Last CIS Title: N/A

 

Weekend in review: TRU (7-9) has won their last two games after sweeping Trinity Western University Spartans in Langley.

Head-to-head: The Heat have not faced TRU at all this season. Last year in the preseason the teams did face off with the WolfPack dropping the Heat 80-40.

 

Coach Semeniuk’s thoughts on TRU: “Our defense has been an issue all year. TRU is a good team with several offensive threats. We must bring a strong defensive team effort to these games. We’ve talked about how we have to be better at boxing out and rebounding. Last Saturday against Victoria, we moved the ball well and played a better offensive game. We must do that again this weekend to compete with TRU,” explains Heather.

 

Playoff Aspirations: The WolfPack are looking to sweep the Heat in order to keep the chances of them securing a wild card berth to the post season alive. In basketball with the two divisions playoffs are based on: top four teams from the Prairie Division and the top three teams from the Pacific Division and then one wildcard team from either division. The WolfPack are in a log jam for one of two final spots; 2 teams from the Pacific have already clinched and the 7-9 WolfPack, the 8-8 Vikes and the 8-9 Spartans are all poised to take the final Pacific Division berth. The Prairie Division has 4 teams locked into their spot with the 8-10 Wesmen and the 6-12 Pronghorns still vying for a wildcard spot. The Vikes have the tie break over TRU and host the Thunderbirds in a home and home, the ‘Pack hold the tie break advantage over the Spartans, the Wesmen, and the Pronghorns.

Players to watch: Post Diane Schuetze (4th year, Vernon, BC) is leading the league in scoring (19.1 per game average), third in overall rebounding (9.2 per game), fourth in both offensive rebounds (3.3) and defensive rebounds (5.9) and is 14th in blocked shots (0.7 per game).

Guard Jorri Duxbury (2nd year, Salmon Arm, BC) is the Canada West leader in assists (5.8 per game) and fourth in overall minutes played (33.2). Duxbury’s backcourt mate Jen Ju (4th year, Vancouver, BC) is sixth in the Canada west in assist/turnover ratio (1.3), ninth in scoring (13.3 points average) and tenth in minutes played (31.5).

Fifth year players: Kaitlyn Widsten (Guard, Tsawwassen, BC) is fifth in three point field goal percent  (18-44 .409) and 14th in three pointers made, and Kailey Colonna (Post, Invermere, BC) is third in shot blocking (1.1 per game).

Leaving the ‘Pack: During the Saturday (Feb 11) games at the Tournament Capital will mark the final home appearances for the WolfPack’s three fifth year players: Kaitlyn Widsten, Kailey Colonna and  Michelle Dimond (forward, Port Moody, BC). They will be honoured before the match.  

Preseason info from Canada West

THOMPSON RIVERS WOLFPACK
Key additions: Taiysa Worsfold (guard), Britney Walton (forward), Jade Montgomery-Waardenburg (guard)

Key returnees: Diane Schuetze (post), Kaitlyn Widsten (guard), Jen Ju (guard), Tracy Kocs (forward)

Key departure: Kayla Forsyth (forward)

KAMLOOPS, BC – Thompson Rivers head coach Scott Reeves has been skill fully tinkering and nurturing his core group of players for five years now.

Fifth year players Kailey Colonna, Kaitlyn Widsten and Michelle Dimond will get to shine. Widsten has always been one of the Canada West’s top guards. She is recovering from an knee problem. Colonna emerged as one of the Canada West’s top shot blockers and in combination with Diane Schuetze give the WolfPack a solid 1-2 punch in the middle. Dimond led the team in field goal percentage and is a key player off the bench. Tracy Kocs is a dangerous free throw shooter and rebounder and Jen Ju  is a spark plug on offense.

Jorri Duxbury turned a lot of heads in her first season of Canada West play and is expected to be a bigger contributor this year.

Reeves has added a solid core of recruits, led by Taiysa Worsfold, MVP of the Canadian U17 championship in 2010. Dana Clarkson and Jade Montgomery-Waardenburg were provincial teammates of Worsfold and represent the ‘new wave’ of WolfPack stars as this program reaches for the upper echelon of the Canada West. Other highly touted recruits are Britney Walton and Sarah Malate.

http://www.tru.ca/athletics.html

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