~Oliver Rizun, Heat Sports Information
Kelowna, B.C. - An impressive performance by Aldrich Berrios was not enough to get the victory on Saturday afternoon, as the hometown Heat lost to the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack 81-75 in their 2017-18 home-opener.
The free-throw line proved to be the difference maker as the visiting WolfPack made 14 more free-throws then the home team (20-6). Berrios finished the game with a game-high 25 points on efficient 10-13 shooting from the field including 5-8 from behind the arc. The only other Heat player in double figures was transfer guard Alloysius Callaghan who had 17 points coming off the bench.
The Heat (1-2) and WolfPack (2-1) will square-off once again tomorrow afternoon in the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium with tip-off at 3 p.m.
The 'Pack shot 45% in the opening quarter compared to just 36% for the home team that led to a 19-11 TRU lead after the first quarter. This was capped off by a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer from Luke Morris. The second quarter was once again won by the WolfPack as they would take the lead into halftime up by 10 (40-30). The 'Pack would have two players in double-digits at the break with Joe Davis leading the team (12 points), along with Mike Rouault who had 11 points including seven from the charity stripe.
The Heat would make a run early in the third quarter and would get the deficit down to six points with just under eight minutes to go in the quarter. The 'Pack would answer this run however and would once again increase the lead to 15 (51-26) at the under five media timeout in the third quarter.
Heat sharpshooter Aldrich Berrios would go on a run by himself, scoring seven consecutive points to bring the home squad to within eight points (51-43). The point guard would have 12 points in the third quarter alone to help bring the home team within nine points at the end of the third (61-52)
Berrios would come up big once again as he would knock down a three-pointer off an unselfish pass from Tristan Matthews with a minute to go in the fourth to cut the lead down to five. This would be as close as the Heat would get however, eventually losing by a score of 81-75.
- Owen Keyes finished the game with six points along with five rebounds in his first home appearance in a Heat uniform.
- Philip Okanlawon made his first-ever basketball for the team in his first playing time.
- Forward Jacob Stokker was only other first-year Heat player to make an appearance in the Furnace.
Inside the numbers:
- The Heat out shot the 'Pack from 2-point range (48% - 45%) while they also made more shots from behind the arc (11-9).
- The home team would have the advantage in other significant stat categories such as rebounds (35-32), assists (16-9) and bench points (31-3).
- The visitors were led by Luke Morris who finished with 22 points including eight made free-throws.
- Joe Davis (20 points), Derek Rhodes (18 points) and Mike Rouault (11 points) all finished the game in double figures for the WolfPack