Tia Sadler, UBC Okanagan Heat
KELOWNA, BC - The UBC Okanagan Heat used a strong third quarter to pull away and defeat the Trinity Western Spartans (87-71) in the home opener on Friday night in the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium.
A Canada West win on their home opener hadn't been done by the UBC Okanagan men's basketball team since 2012 but the night also belonged to fifth year guard Mitch Goodwin. The Kelowna Secondary product finish tonight's game with 18 points and a spot in the UBC Okanagan record books. After tonight's game Mitch has totaled 1030 points and is now the all-time school scoring leader in men's basketball. Matt Gowing is now second with 1028 points.
Records aside, it was third year guard Aldrich Berrios and his hot shooting that led UBCO to the win. He finished with a game high of 26 points. Berrios was able to shoot 54 percent from (6-11) beyond the arc in tonight's match up and shoot and 57 percent (8-14) from the field to lead the Heat to their first win of the year.
David Manshreck also chipped in for the Heat with eight points and 10 rebounds.
On Trinity Western's side of the ball, three players were able to make double digits in scoring. Leading the way was Vartan Taniellan with 17 points, Tyus Allen followed with 14 points and Pogos Trunyan had 12 points and five rebounds.
After a dreadful first half offensively for both teams things turned around in the third quarter.
It was UBC Okanagan using a late 7-0 run to pull out of a 45-45 tie and finally take control of the game from the Spartans. With two made jump shots by Goodwin and two three point shots made by Berrios the Heat were able to draw a wide enough gap between the visiting Spartans to give them the win.
For the Heat, the third quarter is where Berrios was able to find his rhythm and shot 14 of his 26 points. His last three shots of the quarter were from three and all of them makes for the 6'1" Burnaby native.
The Spartans fought to get back into the game, but the Heat had all the answers as they finished the fourth quarter with a 32-23 advantage to give them a 87-71 win.
A sluggish start to the opening game of the Canada West season for both teams but the Heat were able to take advantage early and hold a slim lead for the entire quarter. With the Spartans only shooting 11 percent from the field, the Heat were claimed a 16-11 lead.
Finding a rhythm early in the second, the Spartans used a 15-2 run to command the first half of the second quarter (26-18). Upping the tempo the Heat found scoring opportunities at the basket to close the second frame strong, a (10-2) run, and cut the lead to only two points by halftime to make it (30-28) for the Spartans.
A spectacular night from long range for UBC Okanagan (12-23) 52.2 percent from beyond the arc was key to the team's success. TWU did not have the same touch from long range finishing (6-27) 22.2 percent.
The Heat were able to effectively shoot (26-46) 46.4 percent from the field in tonight's match up while the Spartans shot (24-77) 31.2 percent.
The size difference didn't play out on the glass as UBCO and TWU finished the game with a +1 rebounding differential in favour of the home team (46-45).
Winning the opening game has UBC Okanagan with a record of (1-0) while dropping the Spartans record to (0-1). The Heat and Spartans will go head to head once more on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium.