WINNIPEG – The UBC Okanagan Heat men's basketball team closed out their season on the road Saturday night with a 65-53 loss to the University of Winnipeg Wesmen. The loss gives the Heat a final record of 2-18 for the season. With the win, the Wesmen finish with a .500 record of 10-10 and lock up a playoff spot.
The Heat had a strong first quarter and held a one-point lead at half-time, but the momentum went the other way in the second half as the Wesmen were able to storm back in the third with a huge positive differential and held on in the fourth quarter for the home court victory.
The Heat were the better team through the first two quarters, taking a 33-32 lead into half-time. Their three-point shooting lead (31.3% - 23.1%) was their edge early on, and Philip Okanlawon had already scored his 12 points before the buzzer signalled half-time.
Outscoring Winnipeg 20-16 in the first, the Heat were able to give up just the same number in the second to hold on to the lead. Their 11 turnovers were a weak spot early on, though, and would prove to be a consistent factor through the whole game.
The Wesmen had their most dominant quarter of the game in the third, outscoring the Heat 19-6 in the frame. That was the turning point of the game, as the Heat would never bounce back. The Heat turned the ball over 11 times again in the final two quarters, and combined with Winnipeg's improved shooting that was enough to turn the tide against UBCO.
Dwight Dixon scored nine of his 11 points in the final two quarters, propelling the Winnipeg takeover. His team shot 36.7% through the third and fourth quarters, while holding the Heat to 29.1% from the field and secure the win.
The Heat's rebounds leader on the night was Kyrin Cybenko, who had a game-high 13 boards, finishing just three points shy of a double-double. Okanlawon also led in steals, with two.
Denzel Lynch-Blair was the Wesmen's leading scorer, with 12 points, while Nathaniel Johnson, Narcisse Ambanza, and Dwight Dixon each had 11.
Ambaza also led the team in rebounds, with seven, while William Sesay had game-highs of 5 assists and four steals.
Notable Season Accomplishments:
Aldrich Berrios was the Heat's leading scorer through the season, finishing with an average of 15.1 points per game, for his career he sits second best in school history at (1189) points just 15 points shy of Mitch Goodwins's total of (1204). Triston Matthews finished with averages in double digits, with 12.1 points per game each.
Kyrin Cybenko finished the season with a team-leading 8.1 rebounds per game, while Berrios added another team-leading season stat to his resume with an average of 2.6 assists per game.
By the Numbers:
Winnipeg had the better shooting night all around. They finished ahead in field goal percentage (38.7%-31.3%) and free-throw percentage (76.5%-58.3%), while the Heat had the edge in three-point percentage (21.4%-19%).
Rebounds were 38-32 for the Heat, while the Wesmen finished ahead in assists (18-11), steals (11-5), blocks (6-2), and turnovers (8-22).
The UBC Okanagan Heat finished their season on Saturday night, and will return to the court at the beginning of the 2018/19 season.
The Winnipeg Wesmen finished up in a playoff spot, sitting 11th in Canada West with a record of 10-10. They will be on the road for their postseason meeting next weekend.
~ Grayson B. Leahy – Heat Sports Information