The University of British Columbia

Women's basketball eliminated from playoffs after loss to MacEwan

UBCO's Kelsey Falk drives to the basket during Friday's first round playoff action against the MacEwan Griffins (Photo Credit: David Moll)
UBCO's Kelsey Falk drives to the basket during Friday's first round playoff action against the MacEwan Griffins (Photo Credit: David Moll)

CALGARY - The 13th seeded UBC Okanagan Heat women's basketball team were eliminated from Canada West playoff action on Friday afternoon by the 14th seeded MacEwan Griffins as they lost 69-63 at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium Friday afternoon.

In a wild game that featured eight lead changes, the Griffins rode the hot hand of Mackenzie Farmer, who laid in a game-high 26 points in the win. Farmer, a Canada West third-team all-star from Sherwood Park, Alta., proved she was worthy of her all-star recognition going 7-of-11 from the field for 18 points in the second half.

The Heat got strong outings from two of their big three, Kelsey Falk and Jaeli Ibbetson. The third of the trio, Surprise Munie, a member of the Canada West all-rookie team, was unable to travel with her squad for the program's first-ever playoff appearance.

Falk, from Vernon, B.C. recorded a double-double despite the loss, with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Ibbetson, who plays for her hometown Heat, finished with a team-leading 17 points while adding eight rebounds and four assists.

After falling behind early, UBCO clawed their way back and held the lead on numerous occasions in the first half including a two-point cushion at halftime.

The pivotal frame was the third, where the Griffins outscored the Heat 17-7. A Farmer basket in transition gave GMU the lead at the six-minute mark in the third, which the Griffins were able to hold onto for the rest of the game.

Unrelenting Heat pressure shrunk a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to as little as two points, but timely shots down the stretch allowed MacEwan to hold their lead.

"I'm really proud of our team," UBCO head coach Bobby Mitchell said. "I thought we played hard. The girls competed. MacEwan went on a couple of runs and we went on a couple of runs. We battled hard and I am proud of them."

"We're a young group, competitive, and in most games. Just really proud of the girls and what we have shown from October to now."

In the win, Noelle Kilbreath, of Calgary, chipped in with 17 points off 7-of-15 shooting from the field. 

Brianna Falk, in her final game with the Heat gave a gritty performance with seven points, five rebounds, and three assists. The Vernon, B.C., native finishes her time at UBCO with 42 games played and 18 started, both inside the top 20 in the women's basketball program's leaderboard.

The Heat shooting splits were 33.3 percent from both the field and from deep, while the Griffins scored at a 45.0 percent and 20.0 percent pace from the respective spots.

The loss knocks UBCO out of the Canada West playoffs but the Griffins will advance. Waiting for them are the 4th seeded Trinity Western Spartans who will meet tomorrow in the second round.