The Saturday night matchup in Alberta saw the ‘Horns take over after the Heat jumped out to a first-quarter lead in the 1st Choice Savings Centre.

LETHBRIDGE, AB – The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s basketball team finished their weekend in Lethbridge with a pair of losses against the Pronghorns, after falling 83-61 on Saturday night.

The Pronghorns outscored the Heat 44-34 through the final two quarters, with their defence playing the biggest role. The UBCO side were forced into 17 turnovers in the second half, and were out-rebounded 23-18. The visitors were also held off the board for nearly the full last two minutes of the game. Aldrich Berrios made a three-pointer with 2:32 left to go, and the next UBCO points came when Austin Penrose made a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left.

The final stats tell the story of Lethbridge’s success. They finished with advantages in rebounds (37-35), field goal percentage (39.4% – 35.3%), assists (20-12), and turnovers (17-29). Those 29 turnovers were the Heat’s downfall, as they led directly to 36 Pronghorn points.

Dejon Burdeaux finished with a game-high 20 points for the ‘Horns, followed by Elliott Sentance (16) and William Hickey (14). Sentance also finished just a rebound shy of a double-double.

For the Heat it was Austin Penrose at the head of the pack with 16 points. The 16 was Penrose’s career high and the second straight game a Heat player notched their career best after Matt Lafontaine went for 22 points on Friday night.  Noma Obaseki finished with 12, while Aldrich Berrios and Triston Matthews each had 11. Obaseki finished with eight rebounds to lead the Heat on the boards.

The first quarter saw the Heat take a 16-13 lead. The Pronghorns gave up an uncharacteristic nine turnovers in the frame to the Heat’s five, although each team had seven points off turnovers in the opening frame.

The second quarter saw the Pronghorns play more their expected game, cutting down on their turnovers and working harder in the paint. Zach Overwater especially was key to the home side’s momentum, earning two blocks through the first twenty minutes of play. At the half, the Heat had lost their lead, and were down by 12, 39-27.

Lethbridge were the better shooting team through the first 20 minutes, shooting 51.9 % to the Heat’s 34.5% from the field, 30% – 25% from three-point range, and were ahead 88.9% – 62.5% from the free-throw line. The Heat had the edge in bench points (8-6) and second chance points (8-4) in the first half. The Heat’s Austin Penrose (13), and the ‘Horns’ Dejob Burdeaux (13) and Elliott Sentance (13) were each already scoring in double digits at the break.

The UBC Okanagan Heat (2-14) will be on the road again next weekend, travelling to Edmonton to take on the MacEwan Griffins (5-11) on February 3 & 4. The Lethbridge Pronghorns (12-6) will have next weekend off, so their next games will be their last of the season, against the University of Alberta Golden Bears (12-4) on February 10 & 11.

~ Grayson Leahy, UBC Okanagan