The University of British Columbia

Late push from women's basketball falls short in season opener at UFV

UBCO's Kelsey Falk had a big game for the Heat on Friday, dropping 15 points while pulling down 15 rebounds (Photo Credit: Gibi Saini/UFV Athletics)
UBCO's Kelsey Falk had a big game for the Heat on Friday, dropping 15 points while pulling down 15 rebounds (Photo Credit: Gibi Saini/UFV Athletics)

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Down by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter, the UBC Okanagan Heat women's basketball team battled back, cutting the lead to as little as two in the final frame, as their hard-fought comeback attempt fell short Friday night against the UFV Cascades.

The hosting Cascades never trailed in the 71-67 win over the visiting Heat, led by Maddy Gobeil's 14 points, nine rebounds stat line. The second-year from Kamloops, B.C., tied her career-high adding six assists.

The familiar duo Jaeli Ibbetson and Kelsey Falk had strong performances in UBCO's attempted comeback. Ibbetson, who usually controls the paint, hit a career-high five threes, en route to 19 points, and grabbed nine boards as the Heat's top scorer. The forward from Kelowna, B.C. hit only seven threes all of last season as she transitions her game to be dangerous from beyond the arc.

Falk, the younger of the two sisters from Vernon, had a monster 15 point, 15 rebound double-double in the season's opening game with nine of her rebounds coming on the offensive glass.


Her older sister, Brianna Falk, playing her first Canada West action since the 2018-19 season, had 11 points and eight rebounds in her return to the court.

The first half was a story of runs, with both teams having their way at certain points. A full-court press from head coach Bobby Mitchell's team saw the Heat take control of the game, tying the score early in the second quarter. But the strategy led the visitors into foul trouble, guiding Fraser Valley to a 14-5 run to end the half.

With the Cascades up 15 points in the final quarter, the Heat came roaring back with a 15-2 run to get the game with two in the dying seconds. 

Kasey Patchell of Kelowna, B.C., would take a three-point attempt with three seconds left, a bucket which would have given the Heat the lead, but it would hit the back iron.

The Heat out-rebounded the Cascades 54-45 but were out-shot 40 percent to 31 percent from the field.

The Heat will have a chance to get their first win of the season tomorrow as they travel to Kamloops to take on the TRU Wolfpack at 5 p.m. The President's Cup matchup can be seen live on CanadaWest.tv presented by Co-op.