Lights-out Lethbridge too much for Heat

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okanagan heat

January 13, 2013, KELOWNA, BC (ISN) – Despite late game efforts by the likes of Landry Ndayitwayeko (4th year, Windsor, Ontario) and Anwar Faza (3rd year, Ottawa, Ontario), the Heat couldn’t keep up to a scorching hot Lethbridge team, ultimately falling to the Pronghorns 81-74 in Canada West action at UBC Okanagan Saturday night.

Dave Mackay (4th year, Vancouver, BC) was named the Heat Player of the Game after posting 13 points and 6 rebounds and giving a lot of hustle in the high-scoring, up-tempo affair.

The Heat had great control out of the gates, but a few lapses in decision making allowed the Pronghorns to build momentum through their transition offense. “Whenever you’re in that situation it’s tough to transition back and play solid [defense], because you’re unbalanced on offense,” Heat head coach Pete Guarasci commented after the game.

“And that kind of gave them the run. Lethbridge is a team that likes to shoot early in the shot clock and shoot threes, and to slow that down the best remedy is to be balanced on offense and to score on offense, and that slows down their transition, but we had too many lapses there.”

“We just had too many lapses throughout the game where we didn’t enforce our identity and Lethbridge got to play their game,” concluded Guarasci.

Still the Heat fought their way hard in the fourth quarter, even bringing the score within one point at 73-72 after Anwar found Landry open for a three-point make with 1:31 remaining.

Still fighting, even after the Horns’ Julian Chief-Morris answered with a three-pointer of his own eleven seconds later, Faza came down and managed a scoop layup to keep things close.

With the Heat defending tough right until the end of the shot clock, Logan Reiter heaved a two-handed missile of a shot towards the rim that touched nothing but net and put the ‘Horns back up four points with just 35 seconds to go. The prayer of a shot seemed to finally deflate the resilient Heat. The Horns would then pull away after the Heat couldn’t get another quality stop.

Coach Guarasci kept his team fighting tonight, despite playing a team that was having everything go their way. “I think the key is to keep refocusing them. So when we come into timeouts we just refocus them with what’s been successful throughout the game. The game plan is going to work. It’s just a matter of keeping them in it.

The Horns’ Logan Reiter was a living highlight all game long and looked like he was never going to miss. He finished with 29 points on 10-14 shooting, including a ridiculous 7-8 from three-point range.

6’7″ Derek Waldmer poured in a double-double, recording 16 points and 16 rebounds for the night for Lethbridge. Julian Spear Chief-Morris was third in scoring for the Horns with 11 points while also grabbing three boards.

On the other end of the floor, Yassine Ghomari (4th year, Vancouver, BC) poured in a team-high 17 points and coordinated the Heat offense to the tune of a game-high six assists. Landry Ndayitwayeko was third in scoring for the Heat, finishing with 9 points, including 3-4 from three-point range, and contributing 2 assists.

The Heat are on the road next weekend to play the Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday night (6 p.m. PST). They play next at home on January 25th versus the UBC Thunderbirds (8 p.m.).

Heat notes: Last night featured the Heat’s participation in the CIS women’s basketball Shoot for the Cure initiative, wherein UBC Okanagan will donate funds to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation … Starting guard Mitch Goodwin went down early in the 1st quarter with what appeared to be a mild ankle sprain. After treatment on the sidelines he was put back in the game, but did not last the rest of the game and did not contribute much of anything to the effort. His status for next weekend is as of yet unknown.

Watch online at ubco.canadawest.tv

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