Heat fall just short versus Bisons on KidSport night

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by Cary Mellon

February 1, 2014, KELOWNA, BC (ISN) – Clutch treys by Yassine Ghomari (Vancouver, BC) and Ryan Linttell (Kelowna, BC) late were not enough to lift the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s basketball team past the visiting Manitoba Bisons Saturday night as Manitoba claimed a 76-68 win in Kelowna.

Fifth-year Bisons 6-7 forward Dan Penner quelled the late Heat comeback with six big points in the final four and a half minutes to ice the Bison victory.

UBC Okanagan led by seven midway through the second quarter before the Bisons began stampeding past the host team. Manitoba would take the lead 25-24 with 4:25 left to play in the half and would not relinquish their lead again.

“It’s always kind of the same thing: we have to be able to respond when they go on a run, but sometimes our energy levels sink down and they go on a run,” said the Heat’s fifth-year forward Mike Zayonc postgame. “Instead, we have to maintain our energy level high and keep trying to fight through it, and unfortunately we weren’t able to go on our own right tonight.”

KidSport, in their annual fundraiser at UBC Okanagan, earned $350 off the seven three-pointers potted by the Heat ($50 was donated by the athletics department for each made Heat three-ball).

Fifth-year wing Landry Ndayitwayeko (Windsor, ON) led the Heat with 18 points on 6-13 shooting including 3-7 from the arc ($150). Adding to Landry’s three-point totals was Ghomari’s two ($100) as well as one each from Linttell ($50) and even second-year 6-9 post Stuart Wallensteen ($50). KidSport is a nationwide not-for-profit organization that wants to break down the financial barriers to sport for children.

The Heat rebounded by committee well with four players with five boards, though the Bisons would end up edging the Heat in that margin by two, 43-41.

Manitoba’s rookie standout, Andre Arruda, had a game-high 22 points on 7-10 shooting, making 5-6 three pointers. As a team Manitoba shot 43.8% from the floor and 47.4% from three-point range.

The Heat are now 3-15 on the season while the Bisons pick up their fifth win and are 5-13.

The Heat hit the road to Vancouver next weekend for a matchup at sister campus UBC and the Thunderbirds in Vancouver. Tip-off at War Memorial Gymnasium is at 8 p.m. this Friday (Feb. 7) The Bisons host the No. 4 Alberta Golden Bears for a pair of games.

HEAT NOTES: Yassine Ghomari has competed in three KidSport games for the Heat, in the three years he alone has raised $450 for the charity. (2014-$100, 2013-$150, 2012-$200).

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