ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - The Heat men's basketball team struggled to score in the fourth quarter on Friday night, and would lose by a final score of 68-61 against the hometown University of the Fraser Valley Cascades
For the first three quarters at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre, neither team was able to gain much separation – the visiting Heat led by scores of 15-14, 35-34, and 50-48 at the quarter breaks.
The hosts found the range in the final frame, though, outscoring the Heat 20-11 to pull away and boost their record to 3-6. The Heat fell to 2-5.
There were no double-digit leads over the first three quarters – the Heat were up by as many as six points at various junctures of the second and third, but the Cascades kept reeling them back in.
They put the game away by scoring on three straight possessions with less than three minutes to play – three-pointers by Andrew Morris and Vick Toor bookended a tough bucket in the paint by Daniel Adediran. UFV's lead was 68-58 with 1:18 to go, and they cruised from there.
The hosts opened the fourth with five straight points, courtesy a Mark Johnson triple and a Vick Toor fast-break layup, and they maintained the lead the rest of the way.
Fourth year guard Aldrich Berrios struggled on Friday night scoring just four points on 1-9 shooting. The sharp-shooter came into the game just 20 points shy of the 1000 point club. Berrios will look to become just the third player in the Heat's history to score a thousand in the rematch on Saturday night.
Cascades fourth-year guard/forward Morris registered 18 points and four assists, both game-high totals, and Johnson chipped in with 17 points and nine rebounds while setting the defensive tone for UFV. Adediran (13 points, seven boards) and Toor (11 points, eight boards) also excelled.
Inside the numbers:
The Cascades won the rebounding battle 50-39, but largely nullified that advantage by turning the ball over 18 times to just 10 for the Heat.
First year post Owen Keyes finished with a career high 13 points but the Heat were outscored in the paint 34-28 due mostly to the Cascades scoring 10 second chance points. UBCO managed just three.
The two teams reconvene at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre on Saturday (7 p.m., CanadaWest.tv).
~ Oliver Rizun, Heat sports information; with note from Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics