KELOWNA, B.C. – The UBC Okanagan Heat women's basketball team were unable to take their first win in the opening game of this weekend's matchup against the Manitoba Bisons, as the visitors took the penultimate 2017 game by a final score of 69-45.
Down 12 after the first quarter, and 18 at half-time, the Heat were unable to make up the difference in the second half. The Bisons' shooting was the more efficient on the night, and the Heat were unable to take over the pace in the latter stages enough to mount a comeback.
The Bisons got the scoring started in the game, jumping ahead 5-0 and keeping the Heat off the board until Emma Jonas made a pair of free-throws at 6:54. Eight unanswered points by Manitoba put them ahead 13-2, and the Heat wouldn't score again until Carly Corrado made a free throw with 3:56 left. A Kate Johnson free throw and a layup from Emma Johnson made it 13-6, before the Bisons answered with a pair of free throws of their own. Three more free throws, all from Nicole Konieczny, made it 18-6, where it would stand at the buzzer.
The second quarter saw the Heat get on the board first, with back-to-back three-pointers from Shenelle Tamminen to make it 18-12 at 7:57. A three in response from Taylor Randall put the Bisons up 21-12 at 7:15, and a Claire Harvey layup extended it to 23-12. Two more layups, from Konieczny, put Manitoba up 27-12 with 5:07 left in the opening half.
Biranna Falk got the Heat scoring again with a free throw with five minutes left, and Corrado made a pair to make it 27-15 at 4:44. Randall and Konieczny each made a layup in response to extend the Bisons' lead to 31-15 with just under three and a half minutes left before half-time, and Sadie Beers and Tianna Mighty traded baskets just before the two-minute mark to make it 33-17. A jumper and a free throw from Montana Kinzel was answered by a three from Beers, before Emma Thompson's free throws with nine seconds left provided the final points of the half, making it 38-20 at the break.
Konieczny started the scoring in the third quarter, making a layup to push it to 40-20 just under 30 seconds in. Jonas followed that up with a three for the Heat, and Claire Harvey and Emma Thompson each made a layup to put the Bisons ahead by 21. Koniezcny was next on the board with a layup at 7:43, and the Heat would score their next point on another free throw from Falk with 6:17 to go in the quarter, followed 15 seconds later by a jumper from Evans. A Randall three and a Kinzel jumper put the Bisons up 53-26 around the five-minute mark.
Keziah Brothers and Jordan Korol traded layups with just over a minute and a half left in the third to make it 55-28, and Emma Johnson made a layup of her own with just under a minute left. Brothers then added the final points of the quarter, with a layup and a free throw in the final seconds to have the Bisons ahead 58-30 through three quarters.
The fourth didn't see any scoring for nearly a minute and a half, as the first point came on a Kinzel free throw at 8:32. A layup from Lana Mackic made it 61-30 with seven minutes to play, and Corrado got the next Heat basket with six minutes left. Shenelle Tamminen then made a jumper twenty seconds later, and was quickly answered by Kinzel, making it 63-34 with five minutes left in the game.
Back-to-back buckets from the Heat on a layup from Johnson and a three-pointer from Evans made it 63-39 at 4:21, and the next points came from Corrado's layup with 2:26 to go. Mackic and Kinzel then found the net for the Bisons, making it 67-41 with 39 seconds left. A three-pointer from Beers provided the Heat's final points of the night, and Kinzel made a free throw for the final point of the night, putting the score to 69-45 for Manitoba, where it would stand at the final buzzer.
Kate Johnson had a team-high six assists, and her three steals were tied with Tamminen for the team-high.
Nicole Konieczny was Manitoba's leading scorer, with 16 points, followed by Montana Kinzel who had 12. Taylor Randall and Emma Thompson each finished with 10.
Claire Harvey was the Bisons' leading rebounder with eight boards, followed by three players tied with seven.
By the Numbers:
The Heat were the better three-point shooting team Friday night, making 33.3% while the Bisons hit 28.6% from behind the arc. Field goal percentage (44.3% - 25%) and free-throw percentage (61.1% - 45%) were both in favour of Manitoba in the game.
The Bisons also finished ahead in rebounds (50-39) and blocks (5-2), while the Heat had the edge in assists (10-7) and steals (10-9).
The UBC Okanagan Heat (0-9) and the Manitoba Bisons (5-6) will play again tomorrow night, with the opening tip set for 5 p.m. in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium.
~ Grayson B. Leahy, Heat Sports Information