Grayson Leahy, UBC Okanagan Heat
KELOWNA, BC - The UBC Okanagan women's basketball team played a strong final quarter to earn their first win of the season.
Fifth year guard Emily Kanester iced the game away with free throws for the Heat as UBCO defeated the visiting Mount Royal Cougars by a final score of 73-68 on Saturday night in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium.
With the win the Heat now own a record of 1-5, while the Cougars are now at 2-2.
The two teams traded leads through the first three quarters, leaving the Heat trailing by three points through three quarters. The difference maker for the Heat came late in the game, when Emily Kanester took over with just under two minutes to play. The fourth year Heat guard made a three-pointer with 1:42 left to put her team up 69-65. She then went on to make five free-throws in the final 20 seconds of play, clinching the 73-68 win for the Heat.
Mount Royal's Angela Driscoll led all scorers in the game, finishing with 23 points. Behind her for the Cougars were Becky Nash, with 14 points and four rebounds, and Drew Knox, who finished with 12 points and two steals.
For the Heat, Kanester led the way in scoring with 17 points, followed up by Claire Elliott, who finished with 16 points and game MVP honours, and Chloe Kennedy, who finished with 14 points. Jordan Korol just missed scoring a double-double, as she finished with nine points and 11 rebounds.
The first half saw the Heat and Cougars trade leads. Through the first quarter, Knox and Driscoll had already scored seven and six points respectively, putting their Mount Royal side up two, 20-18, after the first ten minutes. The second quarter went the other way, with the Heat outscoring the Cougars by four. Led by a six-point frame from Elliott, the Heat took the second quarter 16-12, giving them a 34-32 lead at half-time.
The second half started with the momentum swinging back in favour of the visitors. Driscoll went off for 13 in the third quarter, leading her Cougars in outscoring the Heat 25-19, giving Mount Royal a 56-53 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The UBC Okanagan Heat women will play their next games on the road, travelling to Kamloops to face the Thompson Rivers WolfPack in the annual Shoot for the Cure weekend, on November 25 & 26. The Mount Royal Cougars will play their next games at home, when they host the MacEwan Griffins on Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25.