Lead once again too large as Heat fall

By Cary Mellon on November 29, 2014

(Courtesy of Greystoke Photography)

David Manshreck scored 12 (12-13) of his 28 points from the free throw line on Saturday night. (Courtesy of Greystoke Photography)

For the second straight night UBC Okanagan dug too big of a deficit to comeback from as they fall to the Timberwolves 69-63 to close out the 2014 schedule.

Men’s Basketball (Canada West conference play)

Saturday, November 29th, 2014          BOX SCORE | SCHEDULE & RESULTS
Northern Sports Centre, Prince George, BC

UBC Okanagan
FINAL 1 2 3 4 T
UBC Okanagan (2-6) 9 11 22 21 63
UNBC (3-5) 13 18 23 15 69

Prince George, BC –  David Manshreck goes off for 23 second half points but it was not enough to power the Heat to a third win in Canada West men’s basketball as the UNBC Timberwolves were victorious 69-63 over the Heat Saturday night at the Northern Sport Centre in Prince George.

Franco Kouagnia led the Timberwolves to the two win weekend over UBC Okanagan with his second straight double-double versus the Heat and his third on the year.

The fifth year forward from Cameroon was a problem for Heat defenders all weekend after posting 20 points, and 11 rebounds on Friday he came right back with 21 points 14 rebounds on Saturday to lead the Timberwolves to their second win of the weekend. Billy Cheng (Richmond, BC) added 13 points, while Gagan Sahota (Surrey, BC) back from a concussion chipped in 11 off the bench.

Scoring just nine and 11 points in the first two quarters respectively was just a few points too much for Manshreck and his Heat teammates to overcome in spite of his impressive stat line.

The Heat’s stand-out of the night from North Vancouver, BC finished with a game 28 points and six rebounds, shot 4-7 from downtown, 6-16 from the field, and 12-13 from the charity stripe. He also chipped in with a block and three assists.

Supporting Manshreck offensively was junior guard Mitch Goodwin (Kelowna, BC) who added 14 points and nine boards – which led UBC Okanagan.

From the beginning the Timberwolves set the pace, a 6-0 run was capped off by Kouagnia battling inside, he put UNBC up (10-3), and with nearly eight minutes already gone UBC Okanagan was forced to take a timeout.

Directly following the timeout Manshreck came out and hit a floater keeping the Heat in it, 13-9 after 10 minutes of play.

At the start of the second quarter Goodwin hit his first three of the game to give the Heat a spark of life but the Timberwolves were able to answer with a three from Cheng to give them a 19-14 lead.

Kouagnia netted five points in 25 seconds sinking two from the line followed by a three point play with four minutes left in the half. The Timberwolves rode their lead into the break, up 31-20 at halftime.

One of the team’s captains, second year guard Cam Friesen, thought the offense was just lost for the first 25 minutes of the game but is not looking back saying that, “December break will guarantee offensive improvements,” although he did note that tonight “[Manshreck] was offensively sound, but it was just overall little mental lapses, if little things went the other way we would have won the game.”

Turnovers as well as mental lapses were a problem tonight for UBC Okanagan as the UNBC ball pressure forced 20 turnovers that lead to 21 points, combined with UNBC’s dominance in the paint, they outscored UBC Okanagan 28-10 inside, gave UNBC a big advantage on the court. The Heat outrebounded UNBC 41-39, however.

The second half mimicked the first, with UNBC setting the pace and UBC Okanagan working to close the gap when Gagan Sahota came off the bench to sink back-to-back threes for the home team, giving the Timberwolves a six point boost.

Austin Penrose (West Vancouver, BC) cut into the lead when he laid in a last second shot giving the Heat the momentum heading into the final 10 minutes, trailing 54-42 as UBC Okanagan scored more points in the third quarter (22) then they had the entire first half (20).

Down the stretch it looked like the Heat might be able to bring it to a one position game after a Goodwin three, brought the Heat within six.

But the UNBC’s Rhys Elliott (Adelaide, AUS) answered back with a three of his own to stretch the Twolves lead to nine. With 54 seconds left to play, up six, the Timberwolves needed a stop and it came in the form of a steal just outside the arc. Cheng got his hand on a pass, gathered the ball and pushed up the court.

The Heat were unable to convert in the last minute of play, while the Timberwolves ran down the clock. At the final whistle the UNBC Timberwolves notched their second win in a row with a 69-63 victory over the UBC Okanagan Heat.

After the holiday break, UBC Okanagan will travel to Thompson Rivers University for a double-header against the WolfPack. UNBC will open up their second half of the season on the road as they travel to MacEwan University.

 ~ With notes from Jesse Olynyk (UNBC Sports Information)