KELOWNA, B.C. – The UBC Okanagan Heat men's basketball team would close out their final home game of the season on Saturday night with a 84-63 loss to the UBC Thunderbirds in Kelowna. A 20-2 run to close out the second quarter was all the bulge needed by the visiting Thunderbirds.
Keeping them in the game was the hot shooting of UBC Okanagan. The home team lit the scoreboard up for 13 total makes in the contest (13-30). For the Heat, Aldrich Berrios and Triston Matthews collectively scored more than half of the points for the team, with Berrios hitting 6-9 from long distance in support of KidSport.
The UBC Thunderbirds swept the weekend series in Kelowna, their first trip to the Okanagan since 2013, the T-Birds defense did not let up in their second quarter run, and were only scored on in the form of free-throws in the final six minutes. Phil Jalalpoor hit a three just before the halftime buzzer sounded to put an exclamation point on the run for the Thunderbirds.
The Thunderbirds had a quick start with a three-pointer right off the gun, but the game slowed down as neither team would score again until the Heat made a layup three minutes later. After the five-minute mark, both teams began to adjust their shooting and were scoring more often, with four baskets made in the next minute alone. The first quarter ended with a buzzer-beater by Aldrich Berrios to tie it at 16 apiece.
The pace coming into the second quarter was clearly faster than the first, as both teams managed to put points on the board by the end of the first minute. Aldrich Berrios and Spencer Thomas of the Heat were scoring multiple crowd-erupting three-point shots, allowing them to keep up with the quick scoring and ball movement of the Thunderbirds. The Heat were able to stay with the Thunderbirds until the last five minutes of the half where the Thunderbirds went on a 20-2 scoring run.
In the third quarter, the Thunderbirds tried to gain on their 17-point lead, but it was proving difficult with Triston Matthews taking control of the ball and scoring seven points for the Heat before four minutes had passed. After this, the Heat went on to only score one more basket, and the Thunderbirds seized a 26-point lead. The quarter ended 67-41. The Heat's last quarter at home was well fought, even with starting as far behind as they did. Five three-point shots were made by the Heat, but it was not enough to catch the Thunderbird's second quarter run.
- Aldrich Berrios was the highest scorer on the Heat, with 22 points in total and six of those being three-point field-goals.
- Triston Matthews scored 14 points, and a trio of three-point field-goals.
- Phil Jalalpoor led his team with 20 points and five boards, 2-6 from long distance.
- Connor Morgan and Mason Bourcier scoring 13 and 11 points, respectively. Grant Shephard finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
By the Numbers:
- The home team would lead in three-point shots made with 43.3% opposed to the Thunderbirds 32.1%. The Thunderbirds led in field-goals, free-throws, and assists with 44.4%, 68.8%, and 19, respectively. The Heat made 36.8% of field goals, 61.5% of free-throws, and had 12 assists.
Saturday night was the UBCO "KidSport Night" game that benefits under-privileged kids who can't afford to play sports. Every three-point shot made by the Heat is donated in the form of $50 dollars, which totaled to $650 dollars for the night.
A grand total of $4500 has been raised on made threes since 2012. On Saturday night KidSportTM earned $800 off of the sharp shooters from UBC Okanagan. In previous years the Heat's men and women's team have raised: (2017, $450), (2016, $800), (2015, $350), (2014, $500), (2013, $900), and (2012, $700) for the charity.
KidSport™ Kelowna was launched in the 2002 and provides grants for local children 18 years and under to participate in a sports. So come out to cheer on the Heat and support KidSport!
About KidSport™ BC:
KidSport™ was established in 1993 by Sport BC as a community based sport-funding program that provides grants to children ages 18 and under to participate in organized amateur sport. There are now 40 community chapters in BC and 175 chapters across Canada. KidSport™ works to fulfill its mission of eliminating the financial barriers to sport participation, 'So ALL Kids Can Play!'
For more information contact:
Cheryl Browne, Chair | KidSport™ Kelowna Chapter.
The UBC Okanagan Heat men (2-16) will play again February 2 at 4 p.m PST at the University of Winnipeg (8-10) for their final series of the season. The Thunderbirds (15-3) will play next on February 1st at the University of Victoria (10-8).
~ Cole Tweed, Heat Sports Information