The UBC Okanagan men’s basketball team lost the first of two games against the second ranked UBC Thunderbirds Friday night, by a final score of 100-64 in the War Memorial Gymnasium.
On the road UBC Okanagan was unable to take down one of two teams still undefeated in Canada West play and with the win he T-Birds are now at (7-0) and sit alone in second place in the conference just behind the (9-0) University of Alberta. With the loss UBC Okanagan fall to (1-8).
Out-sized UBCO did well to battle on the boards in the game finishing with a -6 rebounding margin (40-34), not on the glass but points in the paint is where the Thunderbirds displayed their size advantage by their putting up 38 points in the paint. With UBC Okanagan committing 29 turnovers UBC was able to break triple digits in scoring for the first time this season.
The only UBC Okanagan player to score double-digits was Mitch Goodwin, he led the way in scoring with 15 points. Goodwin was also able to shoot (6-11) for 54 percent from the field in tonight’s game. Aldrich Berrios and Buzz Truss each contributed nine points. For Berrios this was his second straight performance where he was held under 10 points, after starting the season with seven straight games of at least 15 points.
The Thunderbird’s Connor Morgan led all scorers in tonight’s matchup, finishing with 34 points. Morgan was able to shoot (12-17) for 70 percent from the field and hit 10 of his 11 free throws. Behind Morgan for the T-Birds were Jordan Jensen-Whyte, with 20 points, and Will Ondrik with 11 points. Ondrik was perfect on the night making all four of his shots from the field, both of his free throws, and his only three point attempt.
The Thuderbirds had a 15-point margins for most of the game, after a Goodwin jumper at 8:20 of the first quarter to tie the game at 2-2 UBC Okanagan would go on a six minute scoring drought that UBC took advantage of and scored 21 straight.
Although down 19 after the first quarter UBC Okanagan won the second quarter (21-17) and again in the third fought back to within 15 (60-45) but with a short bench and foul trouble the the Heat bigs the Thunderbirds were able to salt away the game and expand on their lead throughout the fourth.
Davide Ciancio made his Canada West debut on Friday night in Vancouver, the graduate of the Kelowna Owls 2016 AAAA High School Boys provincial championship squad is now the third from that KSS team to play for UBCO this year. Davide played six minutes and scored his first two points. His Owl championship teammates Matt LaFontaine and Nav Sandhu also scored in their Canada West debut, both did the trick on November 4, 2016 versus Trinity Western.
Both teams will return to the War Memorial Gym for their final conference game before winter break. Tip off is at 7 p.m.
~ With notes from Aneesa Heatherington/UBC Thunderbirds / Tia Sadler / UBC Okanagan