What you need to know
- The final weekend of play is upon the Heat as they host the Victoria Vikes for a two-game set. tip-off is Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m.
- Saturday night's game will feature as senior night, as the program honours senior Vanessa Botteselle who is playing in her final game with the team.
- Victoria has plenty to play for still, as they can clinch a playoff spot with two victories in their last four games.
- With Bell Lets talk day coming up, the Heat will help bring awareness to the event during Friday night's game in partnership with the student-athlete mental health initiative (SAMHI).
- Saturday night will also feature events and coordination with Kidsport Kelowna. Free admission will be given to school/sports/club sports teams who wear their jerseys and all youth under the age of 12.
GAME TIMES (PT)
FRIDAY, JAN 25th
Basketball (W) / Canada West Conference Game / Bell Let's Talk game - generating conversations about mental health
6 PM PST | UBC Okanagan Heat (1-17) vs the Victoria Vikes (8-8) | Webcast | Live Stats | Tickets
@ UBC Okanagan Gymnasium
Beer Gardens are open from 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, JAN 26th
Basketball (W) / Canada West Conference Game / KidSport games & Celebration of the Senior players in last home game
5 PM PST | UBC Okanagan Heat vs the Victoria Vikes | Webcast | Live Stats | Tickets
@ UBC Okanagan Gymnasium
Much awaited victory:
- Last weekend against MacEwan the Heat were able to get the monkey off their back, as they captured their first conference win in nearly two years 60-51 over the Griffins.
- The following night they were in another hard-fought game but fell just short, 60-55 against the stifling defence of the visitors.
- The Heat will honour graduating guard Vanessa Botteselle following her final home game on Saturday as the product of North Vancouver, BC will go down as one of the top guards in program history.
- Botteselle has hit the court in 94 Canada West games so far in a Heat uniform, and after this weekend will be at 96 games played, the second most in school history.
- The point guard has scored 659 points in her conference career as well - tied for sixth in school's history, including a career-high 29 points in a game Jan. 4th of this season against UBC. The 29 points in a single game is the third highest total ever scored in a conference game for the Heat, or even when the team played under the nickname Lakers.
- With 173 total assists dished out already in Botteselle's career, the point guard is tied for 5th all-time on the school's helpers list.
- She was named the UBC Okanagan Rookie of the year in her first season with the team and has had plenty of success in the classroom as well, being named an Academic All-Canadian as well as being a Finalist for the UBC Okanagan Female Provost Award for Excellence last year.
- Forward Jordan Korol is looking to become the first female player in program history to average a double-double, as the Coldstream product is currently averaging 13.1 points a game to go with 10.1 rebounds. She will have to pick up 18 total rebounds in the two games this weekend if she hopes to achieve the feat.
Bell Lets Talk:
- Heat basketball is will once again host Bell Let's Talk game night this Friday against the Vikes. This is the third straight year that UBC Okanagan and their student-athletes have been involved with trying to generate conversation about mental health surrounding a varsity event. For full details on the event, you can click here.
Head to head with the Vikes: (0-8)
- The Heat have yet to capture a victory over the Vikes in this fixture, although both games last year in Victoria were tightly contested.
Plenty to play for:
- The Vikes can clinch a spot in the postseason with two wins this weekend as they currently sit in the 10th spot in the standings, two games up on both Manitoba and Winnipeg.
- Victoria was 5-1 to start the season but have struggled to find this same level of play in recent weeks as they are just 2-4 since the winter break.
- One of the best shooting teams in the conference, the team from Vancouver Island sits third in shooting percentage from deep (35%) and sixth in total shooting percentage (40%).
Players to watch:
- Senior guard Amira Giannattasio comes in as the fourth leading scorer in the conference at just under 20 points a contest. The product of Hamilton, Ontario is a scoring machine, as earlier in the season she dropped a school-record 44 points in a game against the UBC Thunderbirds and had a 31-point game last weekend against Lethbridge.
- Other players who average double-figures are Ashlyn Day (13.8), Aleah Ashlee (10.6) and Cali McMillan (10.4), all of whom play in the backcourt.
- A Kelowna home feeling will be in effect, two Vikes player, Ashlyn Day (Immaculata High) and Hannah Walline (OKM Secondary), are both from Kelowna and both played Junior Heat Club basketball.