For the second straight year the UBC Okanagan women’s basketball team travelled the east to get in some preseason competition, the Heat entered in the York University Tournament in Toronto, Ontario. The host York Lions for the three-day event welcomed U Sports teams UBCO, Laurier, and Memorial University for a total of five games.
With the women in the final games of their exhibition schedule, the Heat were the only team representing the Canada West conference at the tournament. The first of three games for the Heat began on Friday night as they took on the host school, York University.
With their last head-to-head in October of 2014, both teams were enthusiastic to start the weekend with a tough fought battle on the hardwood. Coming out strong, the Heat were able to hold York to 17 points at the half.
UBCO throughout this preseason has been leaning on the scoring prowess of senior guard Emily Kanester. She was able to finish the first game with an impressive 19 points, seven rebounds, and three steals to lead the Heat to a (52-46) win.
On Saturday, and for the second game of the event, the Heat played Laurier.
With a slow start to the game and some foul trouble early, the Heat were able to hold the lead at the half, (27-24). Finding their rhythm in the second half of the game, the Heat were able to claim forty points and finish with a (67-57) win. Vernon native Emily Kanester finished the game with 19 points once again, and Summerland native Chloe Kennedy finished with a double-double (18 points and 11 rebounds).
On Sunday, the Heat played their final game of their preseason against Memorial. Getting off to a slow start on defence, the Heat were unable to match the Sea Lions fast pace and impressive 70-percent shooting.
Up against Memorial’s greater accuracy from the field in Sunday’s game, the Heat lost their first preseason game of the year, (57-52).
Leading the Heat in the match-up was fourth year forward Shenelle Tamminen with 17 points and an impressive 75 percent from the field (6 of 8).
As the Heat are now preparing for the regular season to begin, head coach Claire Meadows said, “I thought we showed a lot of growth over preseason. We are playing composed basketball and are executing our offence fluently. Our challenge moving forward is to put together a consistent 40 minutes of basketball. We know that we are going to have our hands full with conference play as all of our games are against formidable opponents. I do know that we have a hungry team and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together.”
With an impressive (9-1) record the Heat have finished their preseason, and are moving into their first regular season games at home against Trinity Western on November 4th and 5th. The first game will start at 6 p.m. on Friday at the UBC Okanagan gymnasium. The second will tip off on Saturday at 5 p.m.