Heat undone in final six minutes, drop heartbreaker in Kamloops

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UBC Okanagan will be looking forward to the rematch on Saturday after losing 78-75 at TRU on Friday night in Kamloops. Tip-off on Saturday is 7 p.m.

KAMLOOPS, BC – Aldrich Berrios finished with 27 points but it wasn’t enough as the Thompson Rivers WolfPack were able to erase a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter and comeback on the visiting UBC Okanagan men’s basketball team. The Heat were edged by the Pack 78-75 on Friday night on the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre.

Berrios started strong including 18 points in the first half and his three at the 7:49 mark of the fourth was the first time either team enjoyed a double-digit lead, putting UBCO up 69-59. The teams traded hoops and then a jumper by Mitch Goodwin two minutes later had the Heat once again up 12 with six minutes to play. That is when the wheels came off for the visitors as the WolfPack finished the game on a 17-2 run to steal their second win of the season.

The ‘Pack improve to (2-5) while the Heat drop to (1-6) after Friday night.

Berrios finished with a stat line of 27 points and nine rebounds, the 6’1″ guard was 4-9 from the three point line and is 20-50, 40% from three on the year. His 20 made threes are second most in the conference and the 20.0 points per game he is averaging is fourth in Canada West.

Two Kelowna Owls, Buzz Truss and Mitch Goodwin, both scored in double digits for the Heat as well in Kamloops. Truss with 16 points and Goodwin with 14, Goodwin also hauled in eight boards.

TRU had two players score over 20 in the win. Derek Rhodes finished with 25 points and Volodymyr Iegorov just missed a double-double with 20 points and nine rebounds. Teh 6’7″ fifth year from the Ukraine also passed the ball finishing with six assists.

After the WolfPack jumped out to a 21-17 lead in the first quarter it was Berrios scoring 14 of his team’s 21 points in the second quarter to send the Heat into the break with a slim 38-36 lead at the half.

The third quarter ended with the Heat extending their lead by a basket (61-57) and then blitzing the ‘Pack early in the fourth before missing their final seven field goals, the only points scored in the final six minutes by the Heat were from the free throw line. Derek Rhodes and Mike Roualt took advantage and closed out the game for the TRU. Rhodes scored nine and Roualt five in the final five minutes to burn the Heat.

The Heat will get a chance to reverse the late game misfortune as the play the WolfPack again on Saturday, tip-off at 7 p.m., once again in Kamloops.

QUOTES:

TRU  head coach Scott Clark:

On the Contest:

“Guys played well in the fourth and do a little bit better on the glass. That was the difference. I thought Madhu (McConnell, 1st year, guard, Victoria, BC) did a good job coming in defensively.  (McConnell had 15 minutes on the court, two defensive rebounds and three points).”

UBCO head coach  Peter Guarasci :

On the Game:

“I thought for at least three and a half quarters we shared the ball very well on offense. We found a lot of good shots against them. We defended reasonably well without fouling. We stuck to our scouting of personnel. We let the game slip away. We had a nice 10 point lead and started to lose track of a couple of guys in transition. We got away from our scouting report and started to shoot high difficulty shots on offense.”

The game counted in the annual Presidents’ Cup Challenge between the schools. On the men’s side TRU has a (3-0) advantage. The challenge between the school’s dates back to 1993 and was issued in the spirit of friendly athletic competition to encourage excellence in performance, sportsmanship and friendship among the students, faculty and staff of the two institutions. This year on the women’s side the Heat have a (3-0) lead.

~ With notes from Larry Reed // TRU Sports Information

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