VANCOUVER, BC – The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s basketball team fell to the UBC Thunderbirds for the second time this weekend, losing 90-46 on Saturday night at the War Memorial Gymnasium in Vancouver.
The last game before the new year for both teams belonged decidedly to the Thunderbirds. UBC shot 56.7% from the field, 51.9% from three-point range, and 70% from the free throw line. UBCO shot 26.3%, 38.9%, and 66.7% in those same categories.
Conor Morgan, fifth year guard / forward with the T-Birds, led all scorers in the game with 21 points. Taylor Browne (17 pts), Jordan Jensen-Whyte (12 pts), Phil Jalalpoor (11 pts), and Isaiah Familia (10 pts) rounded out the UBC high scorers. Familia was also the closest to a double-double in the game, finishing with eight rebounds.
For the Heat, Aldrich Berrios set the pace, scoring 18 points on 7-14 (50%) from the field and 4-6 (66.6%) from three-point range. Navtej Sandhu also scored in double digits for the Okanagan side, putting up 10 points. The 10 points for the freshmen Sandhu was a career high.
Through the first twenty minutes of play, the Thunderbirds were up 53-38. The first quarter saw the ‘Birds score 27 to the Heat’s 11, but UBCO put up 27 of their own in the second quarter, the only time in the game that the visitors outscored the home side in a quarter. The highlight for the Heat in the first half was Aldrich Berrios, who scored all of his 18 points before half time.
The second half was completely dominated by the Thunderbirds. The UBC showed why they are an undefeated and nationally ranked team, shutting down almost entirely the Heat offence. While UBCO had the advantage from the free-throw line in the second half (83.3% – 66.7%), they were held to 10.7% from the field and went 0 for 7 from beyond the arc. The T-Birds forced 15 turnovers in the second half, finishing off their total of 29 points off turnovers in the game. The Heat scored four points in the third quarter, and seven in the fourth, for a total of 11 points, proving that the Thunderbirds’ defence deserve their place as one of the most highly-ranked in the country.
The UBC Okanagan Heat (1-9) will play their next games in the new year, when they host the Regina Cougars (5-3) in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium on January 6 & 7. The UBC Thunderbirds (8-0) will play their next games on the road, when they travel to play the Saskatchewan Huskies (5-3) on January 6 & 7.