What you need to know
- The men's basketball team will be back in action this weekend when they travel to Prince George to face the Timberwolves of UNBC.
- Prior to Christmas, the Heat struggled and are currently on a six-game losing streak after a 2-2 start early on.
- The Heat currently sit two games out of the final playoff spot in the Canada West with ten games left still on the schedule.
GAME TIMES (PST)
All matches to be played at the Charles Jago Northern Sports Centre, Prince George, BC.
- After a strong start, the final six games were not what the Heat were looking for. The defense dropped off during the losing streak, as the team allowed 82 points a game compared to just 72 in the first four games.
- For the first half of the season, the Heat ranked last in the conference points per game (62), assists per game (9.8) and field goal percentage (37.1%).
- Aldrich Berrios has showed off his shooting stroke so far this season, leading the conference at 51% from behind the arc which is also the seventh best percentage in the entire country. His 15.4 points a game and 36.3 minutes per contest are also team highs.
- Guard Triston Matthews has shown improvement in his second year with the team, averaging 9.3 points a game compared to just 5.2 last season. The North Vancouver product also set a new career-high when he dropped 27 points on the road against Victoria during the opening weekend of conference play.
- Rookie center Owen Keyes leads all first year players on the team averaging 5.1 points per contest along with 2.7 rebounds a game
Head-to-head with UNBC (5-7)
- When in the Pioneer Division these two teams would play four times a year in 2015/16 the Heat won three of four with UBCO taking both in Prince George and a split in the weekend series; in the fall of 2015 where Aldrich Berrios dropped 32 points on just 15 shot attempts in the second of the back-to-back. In Prince George the Heat are (2-4).
Scouting the Timberwolves:
- The team from up north come into the game with a 4-8 record but have faced a tough schedule, as six of their eight losses have come to teams in the top six of the conference.
- UNBC has been efficient from inside the arc (42%) so far this season but have struggled from the three-point line (29%).
- The Heat will look to take advantage on the glass, as the T-Wolves rank second last in the Canada West in rebounding.
- The T-Wolves are led by Jovan Leamy who comes in averaging 16.1 points a game on the season. The forward does lots of his work from the free-throw line, as he makes almost five free-throws a game
- Senior guard Marcus MacKay is the teams second leading scorer at 13 points a contest and has the ability to get hot from behind the arc.
Player to Watch:
Vova Pluzhnikov, G
12.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.0 SPG
Pluzhnikov continues to look more comfortable in his first Canada West season. Consistently strong to start games, the native of Ukraine is important in all facets for the Timberwolves. Not the tallest player on the court, the guard is not one to back down from a physical challenge at the defensive end, either.
Jovan Leamy / G/F / 4th / Toronto, Ont. / Ryerson Rams
Daniel Stark / F / 5th / Prince George, B.C. / UNBC (2013-2014)
Vova Pluzhnikov / G / 2nd / Kharkhiv, Ukraine / Superleague Ukraine
Adam Pahl / F / 1st / Okotoks, Alta. / Foothills Composite