Heat notch hoops wins at home
The UBC Okanagan Heat basketball squads rang in the new year with splits on their home court in Canada West action over the weekend.
After losing to the University of Manitoba Bisons Friday, the Heat men rebounded with a 79-70 victory over the University of Winnipeg on Saturday at the Kelowna campus gym.
Yassine Ghomari paced the UBCO men with 32 points as the Heat made amends for a lopsided loss to the Wesmen a week earlier at a tournament on Winnipeg.
“I think commitment to being mentally focused in the game was a key factor in the win,” said Heat assistant coach Matt Heyworth. “Not having any relapses where we lose our concentration and allow bad things to happen really showed down the stretch.”
Ed 'The Energizer' Dane Medi grabbed nine rebounds and added 11 points to the score clock. With his blocked shots and tipped rebounds he energized the Heat and demoralized Winnipeg on several occasions in the contest. Freshman guard Bret Macdonald added 16 points for UBCO.
“Ed, Yassine, and Bret all had really big games but most of the guys were very focused,” commented Heyworth. “It was a great game for Eddie; he got a lot of intangibles that you don’t count on the stat sheet. We need at least three guys to get it done and they stepped up.”
A night earlier, the Heat men were outgunned 80-65 by Manitoba.
Macdonald connected for 23 points for his team as the only Heat player to score in the double digits.
Ghomari was shut down for most of the game scoring just nine points, down from his average of 19.2 points per game.
The Heat, (now 2-6) return to action this weekend when they host the Trinity Western Spartans (4-6) for two games, Friday and Saturday night. Tip off both nights is 8 p.m.
Roz Huber's 24-point effort led the Heat women to a 74-61 victory over the Manitoba Bisons on Friday night.
UBCO, which won its first Canada West game Nov. 26 over Brandon, played with energy and enthusiasm after the six-week midseason break.
“I think (Friday) was an indication of how much they love the game. Getting back and playing the first game, they’re excited,” said Heat head coach Heather Semeniuk. “It’s amazing to reach this point where we can say, ‘this is the league we’re playing in and who’s going to tell us that we can’t.’”
Madison Kaneda chipped in with 16 points, teammate Ashley Briker locked in the most game time and entered double digits with 12 points. Freshman Emily Kanester scored 11 points.
The win came with a price as Huber, the fourth-year post player, took a hit to the head and was forced to sit out the following night's game.
On Saturday, the Winnipeg Wesmen beat the Heat 76-64.
“I wouldn’t say we lost the game because we were missing Roz, but she is an integral part of our team,” said Heat assistant coach Marc Semeniuk. “I thought that the girls that came off the bench did a fantastic job for us and they stepped right in. Kudos to our bench team tonight."
Madison Kaneda blew her points per game average out of the park scoring 23 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Close behind her was Emily Kanester who scored 19 points and clocked the most minutes of any Heat player.
The UBCO women, now 2-6 on the season, will entertain Trinity Western Friday and Saturday nights. Start times both night is 6 p.m.