November 29, 2013, KELOWNA, BC (ISN) – Backed by a career-high 27 points, second year guard Mitch Goodwin drove the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s basketball squad to their elusive first 2013 Canada West victory at UBC’s Okanagan campus on Friday night, as the home squad slid by the UNBC Timberwolves 76-69.
“It’s definitely a monkey off of our backs,” said Goodwin, on the Heat’s Friday night victory. The sophomore guard out of Kelowna Secondary was an excellent 9-13 from the floor while also leading the squad with seven boards.
It was a breakout game for Goodwin, as he struggled to start this season following an excellent rookie campaign where he averaged more than 13 points per game. “All season everything just felt kind of off, but tonight everything just clicked. So hopefully that can continue throughout the year.”
For his efforts, Mitch was named the Landmark Cinemas Player of the Game.
Holding a 51-46 lead heading into the fourth following an excellent third quarter, the Heat would never relinquish said lead through to the final whistle. The closest the Timberwolves got was 69-67 with 1:38 to play, but a timely steal by fifth-year Heat guard Yassine Ghomari (Vancouver, BC) followed by a clutch putback by Stuart Wallensteen (Nanaimo, BC) would give the Heat breathing room with a 71-67 lead and just 37 seconds left in the game.
The often cold-shooting Heat were off to a slow start in the first half, but came out guns blazing in the second half, going 56% from the floor. The Heat scored 45 of their 76 points in the second half. Outscoring UNBC by nine points in the second half as the Wolves scored 34 in the second shooting 13-33 (39.4%) from the floor and 2-11 (18.2%) from three.
Vernon native and Clarence Fulton alum Charles Barton also put his Timberwolves on his shoulders to try and keep them in the mix throughout the third and fourth quarters. He would wind up with a double-double 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead all rebound getters. Behind him, import 6-foot seven forward Frank Kouagnia put up 13 points and eight boards.
Alongside Goodwin’s 27, fifth-year marksman Landry Ndayitwayeko (Windsor, ON) added 22 behind three big three-pointers. Landry remains unconscious from long range, shooting 47.9% (23-48) behind the arc.
With their first win the Heat move to 1-8. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves fall to 3-6. The Heat will look to build upon their momentum in a rematch tomorrow night to close out the semester and 2013.
“Last year, once we had better games everyone started having more confidence, and now hopefully [the confidence] continues throughout the year,” said Goodwin, clearly looking forward to tomorrow’s game to try and help get the team another W.
Tip-off is at 7 p.m. at the gymnasium on UBC’s Okanagan campus and the game can be viewed on www.canadawest.tv
HEAT NOTES: Mitch Goodwin’s previous career-high of 25 points was recorded against the same Timberwolves on November 17 of last season in Prince George during an 81-74 loss for the Heat.