Thunderstruck Heat see contest slip away for loss to campus rival

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January 26, 2013, KELOWNA, BC – In their first campus versus campus battle in Kelowna, the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s basketball team dropped a Friday night contest against the visiting UBC Thunderbirds 84-54.

5th year Leigh Stansfield dominated in the paint for the T-Birds to the tune of 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks en route to Vancouver’s victory.

“Sometimes we just created a little too much separation from her, and those lob passes, and her jumping ability right over the top of the defense … they were tough,” said Heat coach Heather Semeniuk after the game. She mentioned minor adjustments she tried to make, but the still could not stop Stansfield. “We put a little more pressure on the passer and tried to diminish the separation, but she just found other ways to score.”

A run early in the 3rd quarter, fueled by Birds’ rookie Jamie Mills, stretched what was at first a fathomable comeback into a distant reach as Mills drained three-pointer after three-pointer, eventually finishing the night 5-5 from that distance.

Semeniuk said it was “not something we banked on.”

As the buckets poured in, the Heat became more tentative and executed poorly down the stretch. The team finished shooting only 29.1% from the field.

“Offensively we weren’t very patient or disciplined at time,” continued Semeniuk. “We got back to ten twice, and then when they went on that run … that was when we didn’t take the time to execute to score.”

“No stops at one end and no scoring on the other ends up with that flood of scoring,” she said with regards to the lopsided score.

Madison Kaneda (5th year, Vernon, BC) was named Heat Player of the Game after putting up nine points while grabbing eight rebounds herself. Also putting up nine points each for the Okanagan team were second-year Emily Kanester (Vernon, BC) and rookie Jessica Jazdarehee (Coquitlam, BC).

The Thunderbirds put together an impressive team statline, including 50% shooting, 40% three-point shooting and hitting all twelve of their foul shots. In addition to Stansfield and Mills, starters Kris Young (guard, third-year) and Victoria Spangehl (forward, fourth-year) scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, and grabbed 8 and 7 rebounds, respectively.

UBC Okanagan falls to 5-11 while Vancouver moves up to 11-4 for the season. Both teams are back at it tomorrow night at the UBC Okanagan gymnasium for the second of their back-to-back.

Heat Notes: Jazdarhee was reportedly feeling ill coming into tonight’s game, despite her nine point, five rebound outing. “Believe it or not she’s really quite sick right now,” Coach Semeniuk said postgame. “I said to her before the game, ‘You need to take a pass here and sit this one out.’ And she said ‘No coach, no. I want to play.’ She went into the game with a lot of heart and a lot of energy.” Jessica completed 14 minutes off the bench for the Heat.

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