KAMLOOPS, BC – The University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat have drawn first blood in their Canada West women’s basketball weekend series with the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. On Friday night (Nov 25) on the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre, the Heat took down the Pack 60-49.
It was a battle of the two geographical rivals and a pair of teams who entered the game with identical 1-5 records. UBCO was up 29-27 at the half. They were led by Emily Kanester (5th year, guard,Vernon, BC) who had 17 points and eight rebounds. TRU’s main offensive threat was Emma Piggin (3rd year, guard, Kamloops, BC) with 12 points. Emily Vilac (3rd year, forward, Kamloops, BC) had a ‘double double’ with 10 points and 10 rebounds (eight on defense).
After struggling in the fourth quarter over the season’s first five games, prior to last Saturday’s UBCO win over Mount Royal the Heat had been outscored in the final frame 99-57. Tongirth in Kamloops the Heat not only maintained the lead in the final frame but extended it to finish the game essentially tension free as the ‘Pack were unable to have any success against the Heat defense, scoring just 22 points in the second half.
Three UBC Okanagan players scored in double digits Kanester and her 17 was supported by fellow fifth year Chloe Kennedy and her 10 points and six rebounds, Claire Elliott had 11 points and her four steals giver her 22 on the season, good for fifth in the conference.
Second year post Jordan Korol, controlled the defensive glass with 10 rebounds, nine on the defensive end.
Struggling to score from the field, the Heat used the three point shot and the free throw as the way to find success on the offensive end. Shooting just 29% from the field, UBCO was perfect 12-12 from the free throw line and made over a third of their threes (8-23, 34.8%). Kanester was 6-6 from the charity stripe and 3-6 from long distance.
TRU Coach Scott Reeves:
On the Contest: “We weren’t offensive rebounding at all and we weren’t shooting enough to not offensive rebound. When you combine those things, we dug ourselves a little bit of a hole and when we needed three’s to drop they weren’t dropping. We did rebound the ball better in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter but really, you can’t shoot percentages like we shot.”
UBCO head coach Claire Meadows:
On the difference in the game: “We continued to attack. We talked at half time about attacking and getting into the paint. I thought we kept the tempo. That was the difference down the stretch.”
On Importance of Victory: “Any win is an important win during the season. It is nice to pull out some close games. We struggled at the beginning of the season. We have been in some tight games but I feel our composure is getting better. That was nice to see.”
On Play of Emily Kanester: “It was nice to see her knock down a couple of shots. She is our leader and we need her down the stretch. That is what she is on the team to do. It was nice to see that.”
The WolfPack and Heat will wind up their weekend series Saturday (Nov 26) on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre. Tip off will be 5 pm. You can see the game on a pay per view basis by logging onto WWW.CanadawestTV. The pre-game show will be on the air around 4:45 pm.
Next weekend (Dec 2-3) Thompson Rivers will head to Prince George to take on the TimberWolves. UBCO will visit UBC.
This was the fifth game of the President’s Cup Series: which pits UBCO and TRU in all Canada West sports. Heading into the game, following the soccer season, the schools were tied at 2 wins a piece. Missing from the WolfPack bench was longtime assistant coach Chuck Ferguson. He was absent as he was celebrating his 30th wedding anniversary. The “TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack” Player of the game was Chelsey Hoey (2nd year, forward, Parksville, BC).
~ Larry Read // TRU Sports Information