November 30, 2013, KELOWNA, BC (ISN) – Out to try and sweep their first weekend of play this season, the UBC Okanagan Heat hosted the UNBC Timberwolves Saturday night for the second of back-to-back women’s basketball games at UBC’s Okanagan campus, with the Wolves evening the series after a 79-72 victory over the Heat.
Though down as many as 17 points on two occasions, the Heat clawed back on an 11-1 run heading into the fourth quarter down only three. Ultimately, the Heat could not sustain as the Timberwolves pulled away late to the seven point win.
“Our backs were against the wall the whole game,” said Heat head coach Heather Semeniuk. “I think [the Heat girls] responded very well. Sometimes you get these little dips and they dig in and the work is really tough coming back. They stayed positive and they kept their spirits up, so I’m pleased with the effort.”
Once again the third-year backcourt duo of Emily Kanester (Vernon, BC) and Sarah Allison (South Surrey, BC) did the heavy lifting for the Heat, both of them combining for 46 points in the loss. Their 24 and 22 points, respectively, led all scorers, and Kanester was a near perfect from the free-throw line, going 12-13.
The largest lead the Wolves held in their previous match was six, so the Heat added a large degree of difficulty in the comeback after going down 17 points with 7:10 to play in the second quarter. Allison led the charge back for the Heat in the third, starting their run with a pair of free-throws and a quick three-ball to follow.
Arguably the most important player on the floor tonight for the Heat was fourth-year Krystal Schouten, who Heat coach Heather Semeniuk named Player of the Game after the vocal leader helped motivate her teammates when they were down to keep fighting and digging. Schouten had 11 points along with six rebounds and three steals in her 32 minutes of play.
“She’s the game star today,” said Semeniuk, reaffirming Schouten’s performance. “She came on the floor with an assertive determination tonight, and last night even. She stepped up big for us, and was a leader for us.”
The Wolves were led again by fifth-year Mercedes VanKoughnett, who was 6-13 from the floor for a team-high 18 points. As a team, the Wolves shot a ridiculous 64% from the field in the first half, and wound up 54.2% for the game.
VanKoughnett nearly had a double-double last night, missing only one assist, and tonight was approaching a triple-double with nine rebounds and seven assists.
The Heat are now 2-8 at the end of the 2013 year. The Wolves, meanwhile, improve to 4-6. The next Heat basketball action will be January 10th at Regina.