KELOWNA, BC – The UBC Okanagan men’s basketball team took their first win of 2016 against the tenth ranked Thompson Rivers WolfPack at the UBC Okanagan gymnasium Saturday night.
The home court win ups the Heat’s record to (5-5), while dropping the division leading WolfPack’s record to (8-2). With the weekend split the teams are still .500 against each other in Canada West conference play, with each team brandishing six wins.
The Heat’s Second year forward Dean Johnston started off the game with a massive dunk to set the stage for what would be a quick and relentless run.
Emotionally charged from Johnston’s finish, Aldrich Berrios would add to the Heat’s momentum with three consecutive three point jumpers in the next three possessions.
This surge of energy forced TRU to take an early time out which didn’t help slow down the Heat as second year Cameron Servatius would make a jump shot to widen the gap to 13.
After two and half minutes the home team jumped all over the ‘Pack with a 13-0 lead.
For the game Berrios, for the fourth consecutive outing, led his squad in scoring, finishing with a team high of 18 points -12 of those from downtown. Mitch Goodwin followed with 15 points, nine from downtown and third year Cam Friesen had nine points, he hit two from long range.
Doing most of their damage from beyond the arc the Heat would finish with 30 (10-30) of their points from three. TRU only managed nine points from outside and shot just 20% from distance (3-15). The Heat’s ability to shoot tonight was the difference in a win and yesterday’s loss as the team shot (25-62) 40.3 percent from the field compared to their Friday night game of (20- 63) 31.7%. Also upping their three point shooting from their previous (8-31) 25.8 %.
The WolfPack’s shooting however took a drop as they shot 35.7% ( 20-56) from the field compared to their (26-58) 44.4% in Friday’s game.
Volodymyr Legorov led the ‘Pack with 13 points and seven rebounds. Josh Wolfram followed with 10 points and nine boards, and Reese Pribilsky and Gerard Gore had nine points each.
Thompson Rivers found more of a rhythm in the second quarter going on a 13-6 run to tie the game at 24 halfway through the frame. It was the fourth year import, Volodymyr Legorov who was driving force of the WolfPack’s run as he was able to generate five points and four steals to bring TRU back into the game. For the rest of the quarter both teams went point for point ending the quarter tied at 34. At the half Berrios continued to lead the Heat in scoring with 12 points and senior Mitch Goodwin followed with seven.
The second half, similar to the previous quarter, with neither team able to take control, until a 6-1 run midway through the quarter for TRU that pushed the visitors to a 50-42 lead.
UBC Okanagan were able to take the first five minutes of the final quarter to tie the game up at 52 with a (10-2) lead punctuated by a Goodwin three to tie the game and a Friesen three to start the run. A second three by Goodwin in the quarter put the Heat up four with two and a half minutes as they held on for a 62-57 win.
The Heat’s ability to capture boards also contributed to their success as they claimed 40 rebounds compared to the much bigger WolfPack’s 37.
UBC Okanagan will look to build on tonight’s success as they head on the road to play Mount Royal in Calgary next weekend (January 15-16) tip-off on Friday is at 7 p.m. (PST).