January 20, 2013, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – After hanging tough in a defensively contested opening quarter, the UBC Okanagan Heat could not keep up with a hot-shooting University of Alberta Golden Bears team that won the game 84-64 to maintain their top seed in the Prairie Division Saturday night at Saville Community Sport Centre.
The Bears were hot from the field, shooting 50.8% while draining 10 threes (10-26) en route to victory. Bears’ third-year guard Kenneth Otieno led all scorers with 22 points
Heat freshman guard Mitch Goodwin (Kelowna, BC) scored 15 points, grabbed seven rebounds and passed for four assists while super reserve Azi Fahandeg-Sadi (Kelowna, BC) poured in 12 points in 24 minutes of play off the bench.
The Heat were contending with the stifling second-ranked defense in the conference and were allowed only seven shots in the first ten minutes. The Bears did not do much better, however, and would have to wait until the second half before going off.
The third quarter became a shooting showcase, with both teams combining for 49 points. The Bears shot 69% in the quarter while the Heat shot 47%. However, turnovers became an issue as the Bears turned those opportunities into 22 points. The Bears had their way in the paint as well, dropping 26 points there for the night while the Heat scored only 17 of their points near to the basket.
Four different Alberta players hit double-digit scoring, third-year guard Kenneth Otieno leading the charge with 22 points while fourth-year forwards Sahr Saffa and Rob Dewar netted 18 and 12, respectively, and rookie guard Youssef Ouahrig put up 10 to go along with seven assists. Fourth-year forward Todd Bergen-Henengouwen had a game-high 10 boards.
A gassed Heat team let the game slip away from them in the fourth, unable to keep up as the No. 5 Bears cemented the win following a quick lay-in by Ouahrig in the dying seconds of the game.
The Heat outrebounded a larger Bears team 30-23 and also shot a nearly perfect 16-18 from the free throw line if not for a miss each by fourth-year guard Yassine Ghomari (Vancouver, BC) and fourth-year forward Dave Mackay (Vancouver, BC). Gomati’s five points came from charity stripe alone and Mackay posted nine total points while grabbing six rebounds.
The Heat drop to 2-13 but will return to play at home next weekend when they host their nationally ranked sister school, the No.2 UBC Thunderbirds. Tip-off Friday night will be at 8:00 p.m.
Watch online at ubco.canadawest.tv