KELOWNA, B.C. - A gritty comeback from the hosting UBCO Heat saw a 15-point UNBC Timberwolves lead diminished in the second half, but the visitors were able to hold on, taking the game (72-70) Saturday night at the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium.
Outscoring the visitors by 13 in the final two frames, boosted by Jaeli Ibbetson's 23 points, UBCO was nearly able to avenge a 50-point loss the night prior. The T-Wolves leaned on senior forward Maria Mongomo again in tonight's game. She would finish with her second straight 30-point game, adding 16 boards for the double-double.
The loss drops the Heat to (2-14) on the year as the T-Wolves improve to (5-9) after a successful weekend.
Much like the night before, an early first-quarter lead would be forgotten with a UNBC run. An (11-0) push from the visitors in the middle of the frame would guide them to an (18-11) lead.
Feeding off of nine points from Ibbetson in the second quarter, UBCO cut the UNBC lead to as little as four. However, the T-Wolves would soon find themselves on another impressive run, this time a (13-2) streak to end the quarter, taking a 15 point lead in the break, (44-29).
Mongomo, fresh off a season-high 33-point performance a night earlier, lead the T-Wolves with 19 points and nine boards at the half.
A stingy third quarter from the home side would shrink the UNBC to three points by the end of the stanza.
Heading into the fourth up (58-55), back-to-back threes from Madison Landry opened up the game for the T-Wolves. The Heat clawed their way back once again, closing the gap to as small as one point, but UNBC was resilient in holding their lead.
UBCO would have three chances to tie the game in the dying seconds but would fail to make a basket.
Heat head coach Bobby Mitchell was impressed with his team's comeback.
"I loved the response. We took ownership and came out to play."
For the Heat, Ibbetson added to her 23 points with nine boards, Jordon Korol had a 15 point double-double. Also with strong performances for the home side was Alessia Brutto with seven points and seven assists and Kelsey Falk's seven points and career-high 14 boards.
Behind Mongomo's 30, Madison Landry chipped in 20 points off of three-of-six shooting from beyond the arc for the Timberwolves.
Both teams are back in action next weekend. The Heat continue their homestand as they host the (8-5) Winnipeg Wesman at 6 pm PST next Friday. Also on Friday, the Timberwolves head home for a date with the (1-13) Brandon Bobcats.
Every game can be watched live on Canada West tv presented by Co-op.
~Brandon Smith, Heat Sports Information