Heat’s icy second half shooting spells doom versus Cougars

Okanagan heat-logo-just-H

November 7, 2013, CALGARY, AB (ISN) – Scoring just 11 points in the final quarter the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s basketball team allowed the host Mount Royal Cougars to take a three point lead after three quarters, and turn it into an 18 point win over the visiting Heat, Thursday night on Kenyon Court in their home-opener.

The win is the first for the Cougars, and moves their record to 1-2 in conference play, with the loss UBC Okanagan drops to 0-3 and is still looking for their first victory of the season.

After shooting 38.7% from the field, 8-10 from the free throw line, and 5-10 from three point line in the first half, UBC Okanagan went collectively cold in the last half. Although still able to convert in the mid-thirties from the field (35.1%), the Heat froze from long range and the charity stripe in the final 20 minutes, 1-9, and 6-11 respectively that led to the loss.

Much of the game was a back-and-forth affair that saw 14 lead changes, neither team able to build a double-digit lead until late in the fourth.

Never out of reach, UBC Okanagan had closed it to within three (66-63) after a Mitch Goodwin (2nd year, guard, Kelowna, BC) bomb from deep at 6:30 in the fourth, but that one was immediately answered by Mount Royal as second year Derek Wolf (Penticton, BC) connected on a bomb of his own . Goodwin, playing with four fouls soon committed his fifth and disqualifying foul and the Cougars would score 17 of the next 24 points for the victory.

Fouls down the stretch turned into a problem for UBC Okanagan as they committed 18 of their 30 indiscretions in the second half, many came late in their attempt to close the gap on Mount Royal.

The strategy almost paid off as the Cougars made just 14-24 free throws in the second half compared to 6-11 for the Heat; however, the Cougars balanced out their low percentage at the stripe by hitting 6-13 from downtown, compared to an icy 1-9 for the Heat.

Fifth year guard Yassine Ghomari (Vancouver, BC) scored a team high 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds as well before fouling out late in the contest. Another fifth year guard, Landry Ndayitwayeko (Windsor, ON) chipped in with 11 points, hitting on 3-6 from long distance for the Heat.

Two other starters, fifth year post Ed Dane Medi (Rome, IT), and Mitch Goodwin, also reached double figures as well, Goodwin with 10 in just 21 minutes due to foul trouble while Medi hauled in seven boards and was 100% from the charity stripe (6-6).

A sharp looking UBC Okanagan started the game strong against the home team and worked up a nine point lead (26-17) 13 minutes into the game. The lead was short lived however, as four straight missed shots for UBC Okanagan and some hot shooting combined with offense rebounds for the Cougars had the home team within 1 in just 90 seconds. The game remained close into the half, 38-37 for Mount Royal.

Guard Deng Awak (Brooks, AB) led all scorers with 16 points and forward Mangk Akwl (Calgary, AB) was a close second with 15 points for the Cougars.

These two teams will play the second half of their weekend set tomorrow night at 7 p.m. (PST) at Kenyon Court, in Calgary AB.

HEAT NOTES: The Heat have been led in scoring by a different player in all three games this season: Goodwin (13 vs. Alberta), Gill (15 vs. Sask.), Ghomari (14 vs. MRU)….Ghomari has fouled out of all three conference games this season…UBC Okanagan in three games has been outscored 67-48 in the fourth quarter.