The University of British Columbia

Difficult shooting night for men's basketball results in loss to Trinity Western

UBCO's Jalen Shirley drives to the basket against Trinity Western on Thursday evening (Photo Credit: Conan Shing Photography)
UBCO's Jalen Shirley drives to the basket against Trinity Western on Thursday evening (Photo Credit: Conan Shing Photography)

KELOWNA, B.C. - The UBC Okanagan Heat men's basketball team played a hard-fought game against the Trinity Western Spartans on Thursday night at the Furnace, but ultimately were unable to find a win on home court as they fell 79-68. 

The Heat came out strong as Kevin Hamlet of Scarborough, Ont., the reigning Canada West Player of the Week, got on the board quickly seeing his first two shots go through. However, the Spartans got their act together and built their lead before the end of the first and kept it there.

UBCO played to their strengths all game and maintained control of the rock throughout the contest. Pulling down 60 rebounds, with 26 of them being offensive, the squad was active all night on the glass. Though they did everything right, their shots were not falling, as they finished the game shooting just 25 percent from the field. However, they stayed aggressive throughout the game and kept the score within reachas they forced the Spartans into 18 turnovers. 

In the end, the Heat stepped up and erased a 20 point deficit to eight, propelled by a focused defensive effort. UBCO made the right plays and kept their composure in the face of an uphill climb but the shots were not going their way down the final stretch as they ultimately fell by 11 points.

Canada West leading scorer, Ja'Qualyn Gilbreath of Amarillo TX., did what he does best, and poured in 32 points and nine rebounds. The fifth-year guard kept his foot on the gas the entire game, stifling any comeback the Heat mounted. 

Hamlet led the way offensively for the Heat and ended the night with a team-high 15 points to go along with seven rebounds. Rookie guard Jalen Shirley of Brampton, Ont., chipped in off the bench with 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.

The Heat will be back home on Saturday February 12th hosting the UNBC Timberwolves in what is sure to be an exciting rematch after the two teams engaged in one of the season's most thrilling games back in January. Tickets will be available at the door 30 minutes prior to the 2 p.m. tipoff.