The University of British Columbia

PREVIEW: No. 4 Thunderbirds on tap for Heat to kick-off 2019

PREVIEW: No. 4 Thunderbirds on tap for Heat to kick-off 2019

What you need to know


  • After over a month off for the Christmas break, the Heat will return to action this weekend when they travel to Vancouver to face the No. 4 ranked UBC Thunderbirds in the War Memorial Gym.
  • After the best start in program history, UBCO currently owns a 5-7 record and is looking to make the playoffs for the first time in their Canada West history.

GAME TIMES (PT)

FRIDAY, JAN 4th 

Basketball (M) / Canada West Conference Game
8 PM PST |
 UBC Okanagan Heat (5-7) at the No. 4 UBC Thunderbirds (9-1) | Webcast | Live Stats | Tickets
War Memorial Gymnasium, University of British Columbia Point Grey campus

SATURDAY, JAN 5th 

Basketball (M) / Canada West Conference Game
7 PM PST |
 UBC Okanagan Heat at the No. 4 UBC Thunderbirds | Webcast | Live Stats | Tickets
War Memorial Gymnasium, University of British Columbia Point Grey campus


Strong start, tough finish:

  • It was an extremely bright start to the fall campaign for the Heat as they captured their opening four conference games which marked the programs best start in their Canada West history.
  • Following the 4-0 start, the team would capture just one win in their final eight games, an 80-78 victory against Mount Royal in the middle of November.
  • With eight games left in the conference regular season, the Heat sit in 10th spot in the standings but are just one game inside the playoff picture. 

Players to keep an eye on:

  • Third-year swingman Triston Matthews has taken his game to the next level this season, leading the Heat in scoring at nearly 17 points a contest on 44% shooting from the field. His point total has jumped nearly five points a game compared to his second season, while his efficiency has also increased.
  • Senior Aldrich Berrios is once again a key part of the Heat attack as he is averaging 13.7 points a contest and is looking to average over 10 points a game for his fifth season in a row. 

Head to head with the T-Birds: (0-10)

  • Last season in Kelowna, UBC captured both meetings against the Heat by 73-47 and 84-63 score lines.
  • The Heat have yet to beat the Thunderbirds since the Okanagan campus joined U SPORTS in 2011.  

Scouting UBC 

Nearly perfect first semester:

  • The No. 4 ranked Thunderbirds have lost just once in conference play (9-1) so far this year, with that defeat coming during the opening weekend at home against Saskatchewan.
  • It has been an offensive onslaught for the T-birds all year long, as they have scored at least 80 points in every conference game, including dropping 113 points against Mount Royal in their final game of 2018. 

Unbelievable depth:

  • This high-scoring attack is also one of the most balanced in all of the country, as their entire starting lineup averages double figures.
  • Transfer guards Manroop Clair and Jadon Cohee have both made their presence felt during their first season with the team, as both are averaging over 19 points a contest.
  • Two Kelowna products also feature in the starting lineup, as forward Grant Shepard and guard Mason Bourcier both play significant minutes for the 'Birds. Shepard, who is in his second season with the program, currently leads the entire conference in shooting percentage at 62.3%.