UBCO Heat men’s and women’s basketball squads bounce over MacEwan

The women got their first win of the season, while the men keep their playoff hopes alive

The UBCO Heat are looking to use the same fire from Friday night, that lead to both teams getting a much needed win, when both the women’s and the men’s team face a rematch with the MacEwan Griffins Saturday night.

The women’s team picked up their first win of the season, now 1-16, with a 60-51 victory over the Griffins. Seniors Jordon Korol and Vanessa Botteselle led the Heat to a victory that has unfortunately been a long wait.

“It felt good. We had a good week of practice, and probably a good couple weeks, and we were able to get off to a good start, which we haven’t been very consistent at, and our confidence built,” said head coach Bobby Mitchell. “The win validates the work we’ve been doing. To get the win, in front of our fans, it’s something to build off of.”

The women out-rebounded and took advantage of points from turnovers to secure the win. The Heat women’s squad will look to start a different kind of streak with a rematch against the Griffins at 5 p.m at UBCO.

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The Heat men’s team also used a strong first quarter Friday night to secure their sixth win of the season, and snap an eight game losing streak. The Heat used their deep shots to get off to a 29-15 lead at the first quarter. 27 of those first quarter points were scored from beyond the 3-point line, and guard Philip Okanlawon scored 17 of those points. Okanlawon would finish with 22 total points after being slowed down by a lower body injury suffered in the second quarter.

The Heat keep their playoff hopes alive with the victory, as three other with the same record as the Heat battle for the final playoff spot.

“We’re in a do-or-die situation really and we have to win every game going out and we got this one and now we got to look at tomorrow, ” said head coach Ken Olynyk on the UBCO website.

The Heat fended off a pressing MacEwan team throughout the second half, as each time the Griffins would cut into the lead, the Heat would come back and score a 3-pointer to take back the momentum. The Heat shot 45.5 per cent from beyond the arc with guards Triston Matthews, Hafith Moallin, and Aldrich Berrios burying some well-time 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter.

The Heat were outscored 44-16 in the paint Friday night; they’ll look to continue the hot shooting to continue their playoff hopes with a rematch against the Griffins Saturday at 7 p.m. at UBCO.

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