Heat men drop first of two against visiting Vikes

Heat men drop first of two against visiting Vikes

Grayson Leahy, UBC Okanagan

KELOWNA, BC - Eight threes from Victoria freshman Scott Kellum powered the University of Victoria Vikes past the UBC Okanagan Heat men's basketball team, with a final score of 81-46 in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium on Friday night.

Victoria's freshman guard Scott Kellum was the driving force for the Vikes in the game, having already scored 21 points by halftime - shooting (6-8) from  long distance.

Individually, Kellum had the best performance on the night, finishing with a game-high 28 points. Behind him for the Vikes were Taylor Montgomery-Stinson and Justin Kinnear, who each finished with 12 points.

For the Heat, Buzz Truss led the home side scorers with 13 points. Aldrich Berrios and Mitch Goodwin rounded out the top three in scoring for UBCO, with eight points apiece. Berrios and Austin Penrose led the Heat in rebounding, each finishing with five boards.

With two and a half minutes left in the first quarter Victoria had already gone up by double digits, and from that point on the Heat would only cut the lead to single digits once. By the end of the first half, the Vikes were already well in control. 21 points from Kellum, a rebounding advantage of 20-12, and a 29-point second quarter pushed the visitors to a 51-25 lead at the break.

The second half saw the momentum stay firmly on Victoria's side. Kellum continued to shoot the lights out, the rebounding advantage was consistent, and the Heat's shooting slump simply couldn't cut into the Vikes' lead.

The Heat only managed to score once in the final two minutes of the third, and thanks to a Grant Sitton layup with 20 seconds left, the Vikes took a 29-point lead into the fourth.

The final quarter started with Victoria going on a 7-0 run to the 5:00 mark as Kellum contributed four on a three-pointer and a made free throw. The first Heat basket of the fourth quarter came courtesy of a Noma Obaseki layup with 3:40 left to play. Buzz Truss would add three free-throws, providing the rest of the Heat's five points in the final 10 minutes of play.

As a team, the biggest factors for Victoria were their rebounding and passing. They finished well ahead of the Heat in both rebounds (47-32) and assists (19-8).

As a result, the Heat now hold a Canada West record of 2-11, and Victoria improve to 4-7.

The Heat and the Vikes will play again tomorrow night, with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium.