The University of British Columbia

RECAP: Matthews finishes with 21 points but UBCO comeback effort comes up short in Kamloops

RECAP: Matthews finishes with 21 points but UBCO comeback effort comes up short in Kamloops

Kamloops, B.C. - Triston Matthews finished with 20 or more points for the fifth time this season, and the UBC Okanagan men's basketball team nearly erased a 10-point fourth quarter deficit, as the Heat suffer an 84-75 setback on Saturday afternoon to Thompson Rivers University.

With 26-seconds left, the Heat's comeback bid finally stalled out. After a David Okoroafor made three that closed the gap to five points (80-75), the WolfPack answered, breaking the UBCO press as Tyus De vries finished the uncontested lay-in on the Warner Rentals court at the Tournament Capital Centre to seal the game.

UBCO got 21 points from Triston Matthews, who has finished with at least 20in half of the Heat's contests on the year. He is now averaging 18.0 points per game, which is eighth best in Canada West.

Jacob Stokker added 15, the third time he has hit that mark this season, Stokker also hauled in nine boards. Philip Okanlawon contributed 12 points with David Okoroafor adding 10 off the bench.

After dropping both in Kamloops the Heat's record evens at 5-5, TRU is also at .500 but with only four wins on the year as they have already enjoyed their bye week.

The Heat led 20-15 after the first quarter to trail by four (39-35) at the half.  UBCO outscored Thompson Rivers 22-21 in that final stanza. Struggling with a lack of size all weekend the Heat were outrebounded by the home team 47-35 and were outscored ion the paint by 10 (38-28).

Derek Rhodes led the way for TRU with 23 points. The Pack saw scoring from the entire roster with 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 apiece while Tyus De vries added 10.

Heat interim head coach Ken Olynyk:

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, come down, and make a ridiculously silly pass. That really cost us."

First half:

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.

Second half:

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 as UBCO was unable to complete the comeback. The Pack had 14 second chance points in the contest compared to UBCO's 13.

Presidents Cup

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. | Full Scoreboard |

Up next:

The WolfPack and Heat will both be home for the final weekend of the Canada West season before the Christmas break.

The Heat will be entertaining the University of Fraser Valley Cascades in Kelowna this Friday and Saturday (Nov 30-Dec 1). Tip-off on Friday is at 8 p.m., and then your last chance to catch the Heat live in 2018 will get underway on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Thompson Rivers will host the University of Alberta Golden Bears on Friday and Saturday (Nov 30-Dec 1). 

The WolfPack games next weekend will both be 7 pm PDT start times.

~ With notes from Larry Read, Thompson Rivers University Sports Information Officer