KELOWNA, B.C. - Aldrich Berrios had 26 points to go with five rebounds and five assists but the Victoria Vikes moved one win closer to a spot in the postseason as they captured the 91-75 victory on Friday night.
In a game with huge playoff implications for both teams, the Vikes came out on fire on in the opening half thanks to six triples in the first half from Scott Kellum and would hang on for the comfortable win.
Victoria will have a chance to clinch a playoff spot with a win in the rematch tomorrow night in the Okanagan gym, with tip-off slated for 7 p.m. PST.
"We need to come out and play hard tomorrow and get after them a little bit and we will see what they got. We need a win obviously tomorrow night but it is not in our hands anymore with all the possible scenarios, " noted Heat head coach Ken Olynyk following his team's loss.
UBCO will now look to capture the victory tomorrow night and get a bunch of help if they hope to make the postseason for the first time in their program history.
Jarret Larsen came off the bench for the home team to score a career-high 18 points, with all of these points coming in the final 11 minutes. Triston Matthews once again was solid on the offensive end, finishing with 19 points on just 15 shots.
For the visitors, it was Jake Newman, who was a beast on the inside all night long as the forward had 27 points on efficient shooting (10-of-14) and also snagged a game-high 14 boards. Kellum finished with 22 for the Vikes as well while Mason Loewen had 14 off the bench.
The Vikes finished the night shooting 49% from the field (32-of-65) which is their second-highest shooting percentage in any game this season. UBCO made their fair share of shots on the night as well as they shot 45% from the field.
Victoria came out feeling it from deep early on as they hit five triples in the first quarter on nine attempts, with four of these makes coming from Scott Kellum. This sharp-shooting would allow the visitors to gain all the momentum as they took the large home crowd out of the game early on. The visitors defence would shut down the Heat attack in the second as they allowed the home team to score just 12 points in the second to build up a 49-30 advantage at the halftime break in the Furnace.
While the Heat made a couple of runs on the Vikes at different points in the third, the visitors were able to hit big shots to regain a lead and propelled them to the 16-point victory on Friday night. Berrios and Larsen both lit the gym on fire in the final 10 minutes, as the two had 24 of the Heat's 29 points in the fourth quarter.
~ Oliver Rizun, Heat Sports Information