What you need to know
- The Heat men's basketball team will finish up their conference season this weekend when they travel to Winnipeg to face the Wesmen.
- It has been a tough couple months for the team as they have dealt with injuries throughout and are currently on a 14 game losing skid.
- Winnipeg comes into the final weekend with a record of 8-10, which is tied for the last playoff spot in the Canada West.
GAME TIMES (PST)
All games to be played at the Duckworth Centre, Winnipeg, MB
- It was always going to be a tough task for the Heat last weekend as they hosted the sixth ranked UBC Thunderbirds to town. The Heat did a good job defensively during the first matchup, as the T-birds scored just 73 points which is over 22 points under their season average. Unfortunately for the team their offense struggled for much of the night and they would fall 73-47.
- Saturday night much tightly contested for the first 15 minutes as neither team gained much separation until a Thunderbirds exploded at the end of the first half that resulted in a 20 points lead. The Heat would lose by a final score of 84-63.
- The team showed some grit and toughness throughout both games, as the Heat are currently playing with just nine healthy players due to injuries.
- Fourth year guard Aldrich Berrios played one of his best games of the season for the Heat last Saturday night as he dropped 22 points including six threes. The human kinetics student had been quiet since the Christmas break but found his shooting stroke against the Thunderbirds.
- Triston Matthews continued his strong play in his sophomore season with the Heat, as the guard dropped 23 points last Friday night and followed that up with a 14 points performance. Matthews has scored in double-figures in seven of his last eights games now for the Heat.
Head to head with the Wesmen (1-2):
- The last time these two teams met was in the 2013-14 season, when the Wesmen got the win in Kelowna 65-60 thanks to a big fourth quarter.
- The only Heat win came in the 2011-12 season, as the Heat won 79-70 in Kelowna thanks 26 fourth quarter points.
- Although the Wesmen are 8-10 on the season, they are playing their best basketball of the season as they are 5-1 since the Christmas break. The only loss in this span came last weekend when they lost a nail-biter to the Regina Cougars 80-78 on the road.
- With this being the final two games of the season, the Wesmen are in a three-way tie for the 11th spot in the conference, with 12 teams making the post-season. Winnipeg currently has the tiebreaker over both Brandon and Mount Royal who are also 8-10.
- A high-tempo team, Winnipeg comes in averaging the most shot attempts a game in the conference (72.4) along with the second most attempts from behind the arc (30.9).
Players to watch:
- The Wesmen are led by forward Sean Tarver who is averaging nearly 17 points a contest for the team thanks to 48% shooting from the field
- The guard combo of Narcisse Ambanza and Denzel Lynch-Blair are have also been potent this season as the starting back court averages over 31 points a game.
Don Dayrit / G / 1 / Winnipeg, Man. / Sisler High School
Dwight (DJ) Dixon / 1 / Toronto, Ont. / West Humber Collegiate