Not enough offense for the Heat to pull off upset of No. 4 Victoria

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November 16, 2013, KELOWNA, B.C. (ISN) – Still searching for their first win of the 2013-14 season, the UBC Okanagan Heat still had a tough task ahead of them against the No. 4 Vikes at home. Despite heroic defensive efforts in the first half, a lack of firepower on the offense in the second allowed the Vikes to pull out to a 62-46 win, keeping the Heat searching for their elusive victory.

Still, the Heat had an impressive defensive showing against the top offense in the league, holding the Vikes 12 points below their season scoring average.

“I think defensively we worked hard,” said Heat bench boss Pete Guarasci. “We weren’t always smart, but I think we worked hard.”

Poor shooting was what marred the Heat’s chances as they could never muster more than 15 points in a quarter at a 32.1% clip. Meanwhile, the Vikes found fire in the second half, shooting 52.2%, up from the 33.3% in the first half.

“Offensively I think we just left points off the score clock,” Guarasci continued. “We had some open looks and if we knock down half of those it’s a different ballgame.”

Five-year man Landry Ndayitwayeko (Windsor, ON) was the only Heat player in double-digit scoring with 10, also grabbing five rebounds although he missed several baby-hooks on the inside, going 3-12 on the night.

Second-year guard Greet Gill battled with the Vikes’ bigs to win the battle of the boards to clean up a game-leading ten off the glass. The Heat outrebounded the Vikes 39-34, and even in the offensive board category 15-8, but even the second chances would often not go as the Heat continued to struggle to find the bottom of the net.

“I can’t say enough about our effort,” Guarasci said, quick to acknowledge the work his team did. “Our effort defensively and on the boards is fantastic. Honestly, tonight we just needed to score more, and I don’t think we necessarily had poor looks at the basket. I think we just didn’t finish and we didn’t knock them down. Hopefully tomorrow we come out with a little more mojo, keep executing the way we are and hopefully it can be a different ballgame.”

The Vikes’ senior forward Terrell Evans was held to a modest 11 points but grabbed eight rebounds. Post Chris McLaughlin was held off the blocks well for most of the night, but still netted a team-high 13 on 6-8 shooting.

The Heat remain winless at 0-5 for the season, while the Vikes stay perfect at 5-0.

The Heat will get a chance at revenge by splitting weekend tomorrow night. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. at the UBC’s Okanagan campus gymnasium.

HEAT NOTES: The Heat were up 34-30 at 4:57 of the third quarter. Victoria would outscore the Heat 32-12 in the final 15 minutes…Rookie Abe Falls from Abbotsford scored the first University baskets of his career tonight, both in the second half…Former Heat player, Mack Roth suited up for Victoria, he finished with 6 points in 25 minutes against his former team.