With a weekend split in Lethbridge, the Heat women’s shot at a playoff spot slips farther out of reach

LETHBRIDGE, AB – The UBC Okanagan women’s basketball team fell to Lethbridge in the Saturday night matchup in Alberta, 81-44 in the 1st Choice Savings Centre. With the loss the Heat sit in 15th place in the Canada West standings, three spots back of the final playoff spot, with a record of 3-13. The Pronghorns improve their record to 5-13, and are holding the final spot for the postseason, but have two games in hand.

Lethbridge had command of the game all the way through, outscoring the Heat with hot shooting from the three point line. Going 7-7 from long distance in the first 15 minutes. The made threes allowed the home team to have a convincing lead in each quarter. At half-time the home side was up 47-26, and were statistically in command with better shooting percentages of 58.6 – 30.3 FG%, and 81.8 – 15.4 3PT%. The Heat held the rebounding advantage, 18-15, at the break, and each team was shooting 66.7% from the free-throw line.

For the Heat, Claire Elliott once again led offence, finishing with a team-high 11 points. Chloe Kennedy finished just behind her with nine points, and was perfect from the free throw line. Kennedy and Jordan Korol set the pace on the boards with five rebounds apiece.

The Pronghorns were led by Katie Keith, who finished with a game-high ?? points, just ahead of Danielle Fritzke and Jessica Bachynksi who finished with 14 and 12 respectively. Keith, Bachynski, and Zoe Dahl were tied for the team-high in rebounds on the night with six apiece.

The second half saw the Pronghorns maintain their advantage, pulling ahead 68-42 after the third quarter and keeping the Heat off the board in the fourth until the 4:04 mark when Emily Kanester made a pair of free throws for her team’s first points in the final frame. Lethbridge’s defence was at its best in the fourth quarter, not allowing the Heat another basket for the rest of the game. The high point in the final 10 minutes of play for the Heat was an impressive four blocks from Nicole Hart.

Final tallies put the Pronghords ahead in rebounds (41-37), field goal percentage (48.4% – 25%), three-point percentage (52% – 8.3%), and assists (21-10).

The UBC Okanagan Heat (3-13) will stay on the road for their next games, as they will play the MacEwan Griffins (4-12) in Edmonton on February 3 & 4. The Lethbridge Pronghorns (5-13) will play next their final games of the Canada West regular season, when they visit the University of Alberta Pandas (14-2) on February 11 & 12.

~ Grayson Leahy, UBC Okanagan