WINNIPEG – The UBC Okanagan Heat women's basketball team played a tight final game of the season in Winnipeg on Saturday night, falling by a final score of 69-61 against the Wesmen. The Heat close out their season with a record of 0-20 after the tough Saturday night loss.
Despite leading at the half, the Heat were unable to close it out for the win, and Winnipeg was able to lean on their offence late and eke out the home-court win.
With the win, the Wesmen are comfortably in a playoff spot, finishing the regular season with a conference record of 14-6, and earn the right to host their first playoff game.
The first half was dead even, with the score 37-37 at half-time. The Heat were able to shoot better field goal and three-point percentages, but the Wesmen got more shots up to make up the difference. Both teams shot 77.8% from the charity stripe, with 7 of 9 attempts made through the first 20 minutes of play per side.
After falling behind 22-18 at the end of the first, the Heat outscored the Wesmen 19-15 in the second to pull even at the end of the second. With the momentum heading into the break, the Heat looked to be in a good position to keep it close in the second half.
The third quarter was the lowest scoring of the night, with Winnipeg winning the frame by just a basket, 11-8. The low scoring worked out to be an advantage for the Wesmen, though, as they were able to take over in the second half despite the Heat's more consistent shooting. Through the final two quarters the home side was also able to capitalize on a number of drives to the basket, and converted 11 of 14 free throw attempts while the Heat made just one of a possible two.
The final quarter was when the Wesmen put it away, as despite the single-digit result, the home side was in control in the last ten minutes and outscored the Heat 21-16. Able to lean on their defence in the latter stages of the game, they held off the Heat and closed out the win in the final game of the regular season.
Shenelle Tamminen had an exceptional scoring night, finishing with a team-high 19 points- equalling her career best scoring output in her very last game for UBC Okanagan. Emma Johnson and Emma Jonas each added nine points.
Antoinette Miller finished with a game-high 20 points, followed closely by Faith Hezekiah with 19. Each finished with a double-double as well, with 10 and 11 rebounds respectively.
Miller and Hezekiah also tied for the team-high in assists, with three apiece, and Miller led the Wesmen with five steals.
Notable Season Accomplishments:
Third year guard Emma Johnson was the Heat's leading scorer this year, finishing up the campaign with an average of 7.4 points per game. Just behind her was second year guard Emma Jonas, with 7.3 per game.
First year guard Kate Johnson had a successful rookie year with the Heat, averaging 6.6 points per game, and was third in minutes through her 20 games played with an average of 24.1 minutes played per game.
By the Numbers:
The Heat were the better shooting team Saturday night, but were unable to translate that success from the floor into a victory. Field goal percentages were 40% - 31.4% in the Heat's favour, and they finished ahead in three-point shooting as well (42.9% - 25.9%). From the free throw line the Wesmen shot 78.3%, slightly better than the Heat's 72.7%.
Winnipeg finished with an edge in rebounds (40-32), steals (13-12), and turnovers (19-22), while the Heat finished ahead in assists (13-12).
The UBC Okanagan Heat (0-20) finished off their season with this weekend's games in Winnipeg.
The Winnipeg Wesmen (14-6) will make the playoffs. Their first postseason contest will be a single-game playoff on February 9/10, with the winner moving on to the Canada West quarter finals. They will host the UNBC Timberwolves (9-11) for that game.
~ Grayson B. Leahy – Heat Sports Information