By Larry Read
Thompson Rivers University Sports Information Officer
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack are back to .500 in Canada West men's basketball. The Pack swept the visiting University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat this weekend beating them 84-75 on Saturday (No 24) on the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre.
The Pack rallied from a 20-15 first quarter deficit to lead by four at the half. UBCO outscored Thompson Rivers 22-21 in that final stanza.
Derek Rhodes led the way for TRU with 23 points. The Pack had six players in double figures.
The others were Anton Bilous with 16, Enrico Nuno had 13, Michael Rouault and Joe Davis chipped in with 11 a piece while Tyus DeVries added 10.
UBCO got 21 points from Triston Mattheews while Jacob Stokker added 15, Philip Okanlawon contributed 12 points with David Okoroafor adding 10.
The Heat came out of the dressing room with a lot of enthusiasm and quickly erased a 5-0 deficit to lead the WolfPack 20-15 after the first quarter. Philip Okanlawon accounting for 11 UBCO points.
TRU had turned over the ball eight times in that opening period but shored up their defence in the second quarter along with opening up their offense, outgunning UBCO 24-15. Derek Rhodes leading the way with eight points in that period to give TRU a four point lead—39-35 at the break.
The third quarter was a run and gun affair with the teams combining for 42 points
The fourth saw the Heat score 22 points to TRU's 21. The Pack had 14 second chance points in the contest compared to UBCO's 13. TRU had 38 points in the paint which was 10 points better than the Heat.
This was the latest installment of the "President's Cup" series between the two schools. It is a competition involving all their teams in Canada West (soccer, basketball, volleyball and cross country). With the sweep, The WolfPack now have three wins, a loss and a tie against the Heat this season with volleyball yet to come.
The WolfPack and Heat will both be home for the final weekend of the Canada West season before the Christmass break.
Thompson Rivers will host the University of Alberta Golden Bears on Friday and Saturday (Nov 30-Dec 1). The Heat will be entertaining the University of Fraser Valley Cascades that same weekend.
The WolfPack games next weekend will both be 7 pm PDT start times.
All WolfPack games—home and away—are webcast on a pay per view basis on Canada West TV. WolfPack home games are webcast by James Matthews and former WolfPack player Vince Watson with Dylana Milobar providing interviews before, after the first and third quarters and half time.
The "TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack" Player of the game was Bilous. This game was played in the afternoon due to the fact that all four Thompson Rivers 'court teams' are at home this weekend. The Pack volleyball teams are hosting the MacEwan University Griffins.
THEY SAID IT! (post game quotes):
TRU Head Coach Scott Clark:
On the sweep: " That was the goal. We take that and move on. "
On the victory Saturday: " They played hard and scrappy. Every time you thought they would break, they bent a bit and came back a bit. Hats off to them. I thought they played hard and were full value. I thought we stayed the course as well. It is difficult to beat a team twice in a row let alone—in the preseason—so three times. That is a difficult task. I am proud we were able to do that."
Video of post game interview: click here
Heat interim head coach Ken Olynyk (1st season):
On the result: "Yes we had opportunities but we didn't get it done. That is on us. They are a good team. I think they are one of the top five teams in our conference. We still had opportunities and we didn't take care of them."
Being outrebounded 47-32 in the contest: " We got crushed on the boards. We have no ability to keep people off the boards. We need to get that ability and we turned the ball over needlessly—probably half a dozen times. We make a run and come down and make a ridiculously silly pass. That really cost us."
Video of post game interview: click here