Heat turnovers allow WolfPack to rack up victory

okanagan heat

Notes by Larry Reed TRU – Photo by Andrew Snucins

January 6, 2013, KAMLOOPS, BC (ISN) – For the first action of 2013 the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s basketball team tried to shake off the rust, but in the end they just didn’t have the healthy bodies to upset the favoured Thompson River WolfPack.

Playing at the Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops the home team dumped the Heat 91-54 on the back of fifth year post and legitimate player of the year candidate, Diane Schuetze’s (Vernon, BC) 28 points, and 15 rebounds performance.

“She is going to be a handful for anyone not just in our league but throughout the country,” said Scott Reeves the head coach of Diane and her ‘Pack teammates. “She is definitely a fifth year All-Canadian, there is no question.”

The 91 points scored by the WolfPack was a season high and they scored many of those points due to the turnovers that plagued the Heat in their return to action from the break, as the Kelowna team coughed the ball up 36 times in the 40 minute game. UBC Okanagan head coach Heather Semeniuk pointed out to her team’s lack of ball control as a key factor in the loss, and the team’s defensive woes. The WolfPack were able to turn those turnovers into easy buckets netting 32 points directly off of UBC Okanagan turnovers.

Heat WBB
Sarah Allison #11 (G, 2nd year, South Surrey, BC) was had a big task when she attempted to slow down the WolfPack’s Tracy Kocs – (Photo by Andrew Snucins) 

“We were a little bit out of it, “said Heat head coach Heather Semeniuk. “We are a bit sick and injured but they are a great team. They move the ball well and they are very disciplined with their offense. We just need to step up and play better defence and get our offense going.”

Sarah Allison (2nd year, guard, South Surrey, BC), still battling a flu from the December break, led the Heat once again in scoring with 12 points, Vernon guards Emily Kanester (2nd year) and Madison Kaneda (5th year) each knocked in 10 points, Kaneda pulled off the double-double with her team-leading rebounding total of  10 boards.

The Heat were able to hang around with the WolfPack for most of the first half. TRU with the win moves to 8-3 and now have sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division of Canada West. But UBC Okanagan just didn’t have the firepower, or the healthy bodies, to stick with one of the top teams in the country for a full 40 minutes and with the loss the Heat fall to 4-7 on the year.

The undermanned and undersized Heat lost their main post player Krystal Schouten (6’1”, 3rd Year, Winnipeg, MB) just 10 minutes into the contest to a knee injury, but still managed to play strong on the glass throughout the game, only losing the rebounding battle 43-39.  UBC Okanagan managed 16 offensive rebounds but struggled to score shooting just 31% for the game.

The other two fifth year players on the ‘Pack created problems for the Heat all game long as Tracy Krocs (5th year, forward, Coquitlam, BC)  finished with a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while guard Jen Ju (5th year, Vancouver, BC) used her quickness to open up shots for her teammates and added 15 points in 30 minutes of floor time.

Semeniuk on how the Heat can regroup: “We will have a solid week of practices. Our girls are pretty good at bouncing back.  It is not like we lost to a poor team, TRU is a great squad. I think they are going for it this year and I fully expect them to be in the playoffs.  We are just chipping away. This wasn’t one of our better outings but you know what? We have 11 games to go.”

Both the Heat and the WolfPack will be at home for their next conference games next weekend (Jan 11-12)when two Prairie division teams the Calgary Dinos and the Lethbridge Pronghorns travel to the interior of BC as part of a full slate of Canada West games.

Friday’s game in Kelowna will be the Heat hosting the Prairie Division leaders, the 9-1 University of Calgary Dinos with a 6 p.m. tipoff time. Saturday night the Heat will play host to the 5-5 Lethbridge Pronghorns and will get underway at UBC’s Okanagan campus at 5 p.m.