Cougars claw out a victory over UBCO

Cougars claw out a victory over UBCO

Grayson Leahy, UBC Okanagan Heat

KELOWNA, BC - The UBC Okanagan Heat lost the first of two games against the Mount Royal University Cougars Friday night, by a final score of 93-74 in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium.

Three players finished well ahead of all others in scoring on Friday night. Mitch Goodwin led the Heat, and Josh Ross and Brett Layton headed up the Cougars offence, each scoring 25 points. Layton also added 15 rebounds, finishing with a double-double on the night.

As close as the Heat would come to drawing even in the second half was with 4:27 left in the third quarter, after a David Manshreck three-pointer made the score 58-46 for the Cougars. Mount Royal outscored UBC Okanagan 23-21 in the quarter, and took a 70-52 lead into the fourth.

With five minutes left to play in the fourth quarter, the Cougars' was extended to 21 points, up 85-64. A three-pointer from Triston Matthews brought the Heat within 18 a few seconds later, and the next points came on a pair of free throws from Matt LaFontaine, but a layup from Josh Ross put the lead back to 20, at 89-69, with under three minutes left. The final difference was 19 points, as the teams traded points through the final few minutes, with the Cougars on top 93-74 at the final buzzer.

The Cougars finished the game ahead in most statistical categories as well as points. MRU shot 51.4% from the floor, 78.9% from the free throw line, finished with 39 rebounds, and 22 bench points, while the Heat finished with 39%, 68.8%, 37, and 13 in those same categories. UBC Okanagan finished with the edge in three-point shooting (46.2% - 24%), and assists (14-11).

The Heat came out strong to start the game, jumping out to a 7-0 lead to open the first quarter. Mitch Goodwin and Aldrich Berrios each made a three-pointer in that early run, after a Goodwin free throw that was the first point of the game. The Cougars responded with a seven-point run of their own to tie it up, and took a 10-9 lead after a Derek Wolf three-pointer. After a pair of free throws scored by Josh Ross gave Mount Royal a 16-14 lead, the Cougars began to move out ahead, taking a 25-20 lead into the second quarter.

Starting the second quarter with a five-point lead, Mount Royal were able to stretch the lead to 16 by scoring double what UBC Okanagan put up in the frame. The Cougars won the quarter 22-11, with their two last baskets before half-time coming as three-pointers from Derek Wolf and Charn Gill.

The Heat (1-4) and Cougars (2-1) will play again Saturday night (Nov. 19), with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. PST in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium.