Kamloops, B.C. – A hot shooting home squad, spurred on by the youthful and loud crowd, would pull away in the fourth quarter sending the Heat men’s basketball team to the afternoon loss on Friday in Kamloops at the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Center.

Making over half of their attempts, the Thompson Rivers WolfPack would shoot 51% in the game including 63% from two-point range.

A close game throughout, UBCO would trail by just six points going into the fourth quarter (61-53),  but the ‘Pack outscored 21-13 in the final 10 minutes.

The game marked Heat head coach Ken Olynyk’s return to Kamloops, the interim head coach for the UBCO men’s program since June recently retired as was most as Athletic Director at Thompson Rivers in December, after holding the job for 15 years.

The afternoon win moves TRU to (3-4), their loud crowd for the Friday was bolstered by over a thousand school children at the TCC as part of the WolfPack’s first ever “School Day.”

The Heat were led by Triston Matthews with 18 points along with six rebounds. Phillip Okanlawon added 16 with Jacob Stokker and Hafith Moallin adding 15 and 14 points respectively

Although the Heat drop a game in the Presidents’ Cup race to TRU with the loss, their record is still above .500 and they sit in seventh in Canada West with a record of (5-4).

Derek Rhodes led the way for TRU with 25 points. He was one of four players in double figures. The others were Enrico Nuno with 17, Michael Rouault had 12 while Joe Davis chipped in with 10.


The WolfPack scored 40 points ‘in the paint’ in comparison to the Heat with 14, and capitalized on second chances for 15 points compared to four for UBCO. Thompson Rivers led 20-15 after the first quarter and held a 42-34 advantage at the break.

Rhodes had 13 of his 25 points in the first half for TRU. Nuno, who was named the “TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack” player of the game had 12 of his 17 points in the second half.  UBCO’s Matthews had 10 points in the second half while Moallin had 11 points in the final two quarters.

Coaches comments:

TRU Head Coach Scott Clark:

“They are a bit undersized and we threw the ball inside. Those two things allowed us to do that. We made some shots when they collapsed. I thought there were open shots and open shooters. We are a pretty good shooting team. I am happy about the 82 points we scored. Not too happy about the 66 we gave up.”

UBCO’ Ken Olynyk on the loss:

“They outplayed us, especially in the fourth quarter. They got tough in the fourth quarter and we didn’t. We needed to be a bit tougher and do a better job down the stretch.”

Up next:

The WolfPack and Heat will play again Saturday afternoon (Nov. 24) at the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Center. Tip-off will be at 2:45 p.m.

All WolfPack games—home and away—are webcast on a pay per view basis on Canada West TV.

Of note:

There was a large crowd for this Friday afternoon battle of the geographical rivals. The WolfPack invited various local elementary schools to the TCC for an introduction to university basketball.

This was the latest instalment of the “President’s Cup” competition between TRU and UBCO.  It’s a battle among the two school’s U SPORTS teams-basketball, volleyball, soccer and cross country.

~ with notes from Lary Read, TRU Sports Information