Kelowna, BC - It was Vernon's Brianna Falk with a career-high 17 points in a turnaround performance for the UBC Okanagan women's basketball team on Saturday night.
After struggling in the Friday night game against UFV the Heat came out and nearly upset the visiting Cascades but a late defensive lapse saw the Heat fall 72-59 in the last game before the winter break.
This wraps up play for Canada West sports as the schools take December off to write exams. The Cascades, have won four in a row, sit in fifth place, with a record of 7-4, the Heat fall to 0-12 as 2018 closes.
After never having a lead on Friday night, the Heat missed a long triple at the end of the third quarter that would have both teams tied at 51 going into the final frame.
The shot didn't fall for UBCO and the Cascades ground out the first five minutes of the fourth, clinging to a five-point lead before pulling away late as Bobby Mitchell's squad took defensive chances looking for the win.
A 21-11 edge in the fourth, eroded the Heat's chances as they fell on their home floor to close out the 2018 calendar season.
Taylor Claggett, who ended up fouling out late in the game, managed to score 26 points and eight rebounds while shooting 50 percent (9-16) and a perfect 8-8 from the charity stripe.
It was the long-range shooting from Kate Head and Abby Zawada that UBCO struggled to counter as the pair combined for 5-9 from three on the day. Six of Head's 12 points were from three and all nine of Zawada's were from downtown.
Botteselle played the iron man once again, logging 39 minutes and finishing with 11 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Jordan Korol had her second consecutive game for UBCO with eight points and 10 rebounds as she has now had at least eight rebounds in her last eight games.
UBCO's Bobby Mitchell was pleased with his team's performance on the night as they would fall just short of that first win.
"We definitely gotta learn to close out those kinda games but we expended a lot of energy fighting back and they're a really big a strong team. If we can play like that consistently were gonna get a game and get a win. I love their compete and I love their response from yesterday."
The Heat came out firing in the opening quarter, as they were up 17-11 after the opening 10 minutes on their home floor. This lead would become nine early in the second but the Cascades countered with 29 points in the remainder of the second quarter to grab the 40-34 halftime lead in the Furnace. Both teams struggled to defend without fouling in the first half, as there were 22 combined fouls between the two teams.
After UFV built their lead up to as much as eight, UBCO would just not go away as they came back to tie things up at 55-55 with just under eight minutes to go in the game. It was all Cascades to finish however as they finished the game on a 17-4 run to close things out.
Following the long winter break, the Heat will travel to Vancouver to face the UBC Thunderbirds (6-4) starting Jan.4th while UFV (7-5) hosts the Brandon Bobcats (2-10) the same weekend.
~ Oliver Rizun, Heat Sports Information