LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - The UBC Okanagan Heat men's basketball team's Cinderella story came to an end on Friday night as the 17th seeded Heat fell to the seventh seeded Lethbridge Longhorns 91-81 at the 1st Choice Savings Centre.
The Heat came out strong after upsetting the 10th seeded Manitoba Bisons in the opening round as they had their offence rolling early. Hafith Moallin of Mississauga, Ont., was a key piece to their early success as he racked up a quick seven points without missing a shot.
At the half, UBCO found themselves up by five points and were able to keep the advantage throughout the third.
However, the Pronghorns went on to hit three three-pointers in a row in the fourth, all coming from the same source, to grab momentum. Deng Dak of Brooks, Alta., got hot as he went 3-for-3 from behind the arc getting the Pronghorns in front and keeping them there. Dak ended the night with 24 points on 7-for-11 shooting and four rebounds.
Throughout the game, Scarborough, Ont., product Kevin Hamlet was a force. He finished with 20 points, nine of them coming from the line where he didn't miss a free throw. The fourth-year forward pulled down seven boards and also dished out four assists. The floor general, Moallin ended the night with 13 points and five rebounds. The Heat saw five of their players end the night in double figures, making it a very well-rounded offensive performance.
The Heat made a mark in the new format for the 2022 Canada West playoffs pulling off the biggest upset of the tournament and almost coming out top again against Lethbridge.
This loss marks the end of the careers for Dallas Hancox of Sylvan Lake, Atla., and Keaton Souster of Edmonton. Souster finished the night with 11 points, seven rebounds, and three assists while Hancox was unable to play after an injury the game prior.
The Pronghorns will advance to the Canada West quarter-finals where they will face off against the Victoria Vikes.