UBC Okanagan drop Friday night affair to visiting Huskies

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File photos for UBC Okanagan Heat athletics

KELOWNA, B.C. – The UBC Okanagan Heat women’s basketball team took on the Canada West conference leading University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday night, in their first home court appearance of the new year. In a tough game against the conference leaders, the Heat weren’t able to even it up after a significant first-half deficit, and fell by a final score of 88-55.

Turnovers were the big issue for UBCO on Friday night, as they gave up the ball 20 times, turning into significant points for Saskatchewan. A dominant early performance by Saskatchewan’s fifth year forward Megan Lindquist put them ahead, and they were able to maintain throughout the game to put the game away by 33 points.

First Half:

Early on in the first quarter it was Saskatchewan’s three-point shooting that put them ahead, as they jumped out to a 16-4 lead through five minutes of play on 40% from beyond the arc. Turnovers were another advantage for the Huskies in the opening few minutes, as they hit nine points scored off turnovers before the end of the first.

Heading into the second, the Huskies had a 27-13 lead, build on shooting and rebounding advantages. Megan Lindquist had scored 12 points for the visitors by early in the second quarter, as they stretched their lead to 19 around the seven-minute mark. Defence took over as scoring hit a lull through the middle of the frame, with no points being netted between 7:05 and 5:00 on the game clock. Traded free throws broke that stretch, before Saskatchewan’s offence took the upper hand and stretched their lead to 24. After going without a free throw in the first quarter, the Heat were nearly perfect from the stripe in the second, making seven of eight, but were still behind 46-23 at the break.

Second Half:

Saskatchewan started the third with a pair of threes in the first three minutes, stretching their lead to 29, ahead 56-25, at the seven-minute mark. Closing out the frame with 23 points, the Huskies were ahead by 30 at the end of the third, ahead 69-39. The Heat were able to finish strong, though, putting up the final four points on a layup by Brianna Falk and a jumper from Kate Johnson.

Through the first five minutes of the fourth the Heat were unable to reduce the Huskies’ lead, as they took a time-out at 5:24 down 30, 79-49. The Heat got on the board just twice from then on, as Emma Jonas and Lindsey Bott each made a three-pointer to provide UBCO’s final points of the evening.

Key Performers:

UBC Okanagan:

Kate Johnson was UBCO’s highest scorer Friday night, putting up 13 points, and was followed closely by Vanessa Botteselle‘s 10 points. Johnson was also the leader in assists in the game.

Botteselle led the Heat in rebounding as well in the game, pulling down five boards, finishing just ahead of Brianna Falk, Jordan Korol, and Emma Johnson, who each had four.

SASK:

The Huskies had five players finish scoring in double-digits in the game, led by Summer Masikewich’s 19 points. Megan Lindquist and Sabine Dukate each finished with 15, while Megan Ahlstrom and Madeline Humbert had 10 apiece.

Masikewich had a team-high four assists, while Libby Epoch led the visitors with eight rebounds.

By the Numbers:

Saskatchewan finished with the better shooting night, ahead in field goal percentage (47.8% – 35.8%), and three-point percentage (32% – 28.6%), while UBC Okanagan had the edge in free-throw percentage (81.3% – 77.8%).

Rebounds saw the Huskies well ahead at the final buzzer, grabbing 46 boards to the Heat’s 27. Assists (17-6), steals (14-5), and turnovers (11-20) also each went Saskatchewan’s way.

Next Up:

The UBC Okanagan Heat (0-13) and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies (12-1) will play again tomorrow night, with tip-off scheduled for 5 p.m. PST in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium and live on Canadawest.tv.

~ Grayson B. Leahy, Heat Sports Information

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