Men's Basketball (Canada West conference game)
Friday, January 27th, 2017
1st Choice Savings Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta
LETHBRIDGE, AB - The UBC Okanagan Heat men's basketball team fell by a final score of 75-71 to the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns on Friday night in Lethbridge's 1st Choice Savings Centre.
The Heat outscored the 'Horns 27-24 in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough to close the gap before the final buzzer. Lethbridge's rebounding advantage, 41-27 at the end of the game, was the key to their lead throughout the game.
The Heat never held a lead at the end of a quarter, but were down just two points, 31-29, at half-time after a Zac Overwater jump shot went in with two seconds left in the second quarter. The Pronghorns came out firing in the second half, though, and started off the scoring with back-to-back three-pointers courtesy of Mike Pierzchala and William Hickey.
At the end of the third quarter the 'Horns were up seven, 51-44. The Heat were able to pull within a single point with 6:24 left to play in the game, after a Buzz Truss jump shot found the net. The UBCO side played from behind for the rest of the fourth quarter, coming as close as two points down with five seconds left thanks to a basket from Austin Penrose. A pair of free throws made my Mike Pierzchala put Lethbridge up by four with four seconds left, and that's where the score sat at the end.
Never hitting double digits before in his first year with the Heat, Matt Lafontaine had a near flawless night to lead all scorers with a career high 22 points. Lafontaine was 7 for 11 from the field, including a scorching 6 for 8 from behind the arc, and was huge down the stretch to keep his team within striking distance. His 22 points eclipsed his previous career best of nine points scored on January 7th against Regina.
For the Pronghorns it was Elliott Sentance leading the way on Friday night, finishing with 15 points and eight rebounds. Behind him were Brett Warren (13), Zac Overwater (12), and William Hickey (10) scoring highest for the 'Horns.
The Pronghorns went 26 for 31 from the charity stripe, while the Heat only got to the line seven times all night.
The UBC Okanagan Heat (2-13) and the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns (11-6) will play again Saturday night, with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. MST (6 p.m. Pacific) in the 1st Choice Savings Centre.
~ Grayson Leahy, UBC Okanagan // with notes from Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorns Athletics