Heat unable to upset playoff bound Timberwolves Thursday
By Cary Mellon on February 12, 2015
Men’s Basketball (Canada West conference play)
|UBC Okanagan (3-16)||15||13||13||15||82|
KELOWNA, B.C. – The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s basketball team hosted the current second seed in the Explorer Division and playoff bound UNBC Timberwolves in Kelowna Thursday night to kick-off the final weekend of the 2014-15 season, but the home team could not overcome their fully loaded and ramped up Prince George foes, who would coast to an 86-56 result.
The Heat got out to a quick start in the opening minutes of the game, powered by a quick pair of threes by Mitch Goodwin (Kelowna, BC). An 8-2 lead would be the home team’s peak that night, as UNBC regrouped, rattled off a 17-0 run immediately afterward, and never looked back.
The Timberwolves defense was suffocating for UBC Okanagan, who struggled to find ways to properly penetrate, find good passing lanes and get good looks from within the three-point arc. UNBC would pick up nine steals throughout the course of the game, put up 25 points off of turnovers, and hold the Heat to 35% shooting from the floor.
Despite a size disadvantage, the Heat still managed to do battle with the Timberwolves bigs on both ends of the court, only narrowly losing the rebounding war 37-35. The Heat completed this feat by committee, with five players all tying with a team-high four boards for the contest.
Cameroon native Franco Kouagnia led all scorers with 18 points, just missing out on the double-double with nine rebounds. He served as the focal point of the offense most possessions, operating out of the high post and using his size to attract the defenders before distributing the ball for layups.
As a team the Timberwolves accumulated 19 dimes. Four by starting guard Rhys Elliott to lead the T-Wolves. Marcus MacKay went 4-9 from beyond the arc to account for all 12 of his points of the bench. UNBC’s bench would score 46 points versus just 21 points from UBC Okanagan non-starters.
UBC Okanagan coach Pete Guarasci would utilize several different lineup looks to throw different angles at UNBC, to varied effects. Rookies Austin Penrose (West Vancouver, BC) and Brian Ademba (Nairobi, KEN) would put in short but quality minutes, notably on the offensive and defensive ends, respectively.
First-year Aldrich Berrios would reach double-digit points behind Goodwin with ten for the Heat. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves’ Mitch Howden caught fire in the second half, finishing a perfect 4-4 from beyond the arc for 16 points behind Kouagnia.
The Timberwolves improve to 11-8 in regular season, while the Heat dip to 3-16. Both teams will play their final games of the 2014-15 Canada West regular season tomorrow at 3 p.m. in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium.