KELOWNA, B.C. - A shorthanded UBC Okanagan Heat men's basketball team was no match for the No. 5-ranked team in the country on Thursday night as they fell 99-71 to the Victoria Vikes at The Furnace.
Playing with only seven fully healthy players in the lineup, the Heat kept the game close in the opening half, as they trailed by just 11 points at the break. However, the Vikes found their shooting stroke in the second half to pull away for the victory.
The Vikes were led by Scott Kellum's (Issaquah, WA) 20 points. Dominick Oliveri (Spokane, WA) grabbed 12 rebounds for the Vikes and Diego Maffia (Victoria, B.C.) dished out 10 assists in the win.
A pair of bright sports for the Heat were Dallas Hancox of Sylvan Lake, Alta., and Gavin Ashworth of Beaverlodge, Alta. Hancox, the fifth-year senior, tied a UBCO record with his 14-rebound outing while Ashworth set a new career-best with 15 points.
A short bench meant tall minutes for an undermanned Heat team. Gus Goerzen played a career-high 34 minutes while three other Heat players saw 30 minutes or more.
The loss drops UBCO to 3-15 on the year, while the Vikes rise to 16-1.
The Heat will now turn their focus to the playoffs where they will square off in the opening round on Thursday, March 3 against a still to be determined opponent.