Backcourt tandem too hot to handle in Heat win at home
By Kevin Ilomin on January 31, 2015
Men’s Basketball (Canada West conference play)
|Thompson Rivers (9-7)||12||17||20||26||75|
|UBC Okanagan (3-13)||19||18||19||28||84|
KELOWNA, B.C. – The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s basketball team toppled valley rival Thompson Rivers Saturday night in Kelowna 84-75 as a trio of Heat starters shot the lights out in twenty-plus scoring figures.
Third-year guard Mitch Goodwin (Kelowna, BC) netted a season-high 25 points, adding five assists, and he shot near-perfectly from the charity stripe before missing a pair of free-throws late to settle at 13-15. He was awarded Player of the Game Honours.
Up 15 points with three minutes remaining, the Heat looked poised to close out the WolfPack once and for all. However, Reese Pribilsky and Brett Parker would not go away quietly, quickly employing some veteran plays to go on an 11-4 run to close the gap. However, timely rebounds in the final two minutes by both David Manshreck (North Vancouver, BC) and Buzz Truss (Kelowna, BC) coupled with a series of free-throws by Goodwin would ice the night.
Though Goodwin received Player of the Game honours, Truss did a lot of the dirty work for his team, drawing three timely charges and grabbing a couple of rebounds in the latter breaths of the game to help his team close out Kamloops for good.
The win is the Heat’s first since November 21st versus MacEwan and their third overall. They now move up to 3-13 for the season while Thompson Rivers dips to 9-7, still looking to clinch a playoff berth while currently occupying the second seed in the Explorer Division.
The victory is a huge confidence boost for a Heat squad which had been on a ten game slide to sit in the bottom of the division. “We have been a bit down on ourselves the past few weeks … but the young guys really showed how mature they are with how hard they competed tonight,” said Goodwin, the lone third-year on a very young team, of his teammates.
“I would say that we’ve come a long way since September,” he continued. “I’ve witnessed all of them grow on and off the court and tonight we showed just how far we’ve come as a team.”
It was an up-and-down affair all game long as Thompson Rivers was trimmed down a bit in size with the absence of star forward Josh Wolfram, who suffered an ankle injury a night prior. Both teams were quick to the trigger and boasted solid shooting percentages for the night. The Heat were a ridiculous 45% from the three-point line and 47% overall, while the WolfPack wrapped up 40% from the field and 32% from the arc.
UBC Okanagan’s three-point percentage was bolstered by a perfect 5-5 stat line courtesy of rookie Heat guard Aldrich Berrios (Burnaby, BC) who continues to make his case for the Rookie of the Year chase in Canada West. He would wrap up with 21 points for the night. The starter once again logged hefty minutes at 34, bested only by his wingmates in Goodwin and Manshreck, who completed a double-double with 21 points of his own to go with ten rebounds.
Pribilisky did it all for the WolfPack, going for a team-high 18 points while dishing a game-high six assists. Parker and Brett Rouault each netted 14 behind Pribilsky, and Luke Morris grabbed a team-high eight boards and added 11 points himself.
UBC Okanagan hits the road next weekend to MacEwan and will play the Griffins at 8 p.m. MST. Thompson Rivers will be back home to host Mount Royal with tip-off at 8 p.m. PST
Watch the action online and stream live stats at canadawest.tv.
All regular season matchups between Thompson Rivers and UBC Okanagan are finished and the WolfPack earned the advantage in both men’s and women’s competitions taking home both Cups for the first time since 2002. [ENTIRE HISTORY]. This year on the men’s side the WolfPack had five wins to UBC Okanagan’s two. [Yearly Totals]
President’s Cup 2015 – Rob Johnson on left presents the Cup to WolfPack basketball star Josh Wolfram following the two Saturday varsity basketball games.