Oliver Rizun, UBC Okanagan
KELOWNA, BC - The UBC Okanagan Heat could not bounce back from a poor third quarter and fell to the visiting University of the Fraser Valley Cascades on Friday night by a score of 87-72.
The visiting Cascades started the third quarter on a 13-0 run through the first four and a half minutes of the quarter until a Buzz Truss layup ended the drought at 5:09. Cascades leading scorer Manny Duly caught fire in the third frame as he dropped 11 of his game high 21 points in the third, including three from deep. The Cascades built up a 20 point lead and by the end of the third quarter were up 70-50.
With the road win the Cascades improve to 10-9 and punch their post-season ticket. It's the eighth straight season that the UFV men's basketball program will appear in the Canada West playoffs.
Dulay reached a career milestone in the process. The fifth-year point guard hit his second, third and fourth three-pointers of the night during that scorching third-quarter stretch, giving him 240 triples in his Canada West career and moving him into third place in conference history, passing Casey Archibald (UBC Thunderbirds, 2002-07) and Danny Balderson (Lethbridge Pronghorns, 1993-95, 1997-2000) who were tied at 239. Former Regina Cougar Jeff Lukomski holds the conference record of 308.
Scoring better in the fourth quarter the 20 point deficit was too large to overcome for the home squad who were outshot by the Cascades 52% (35-67) compared to 42.6% (29-68) for the home team from the field.
The rest of the stat line in the game was remarkably even other than the few extra made baskets by UFV. Both team shot near 40% from three: for UFV (9-23, 39%), UBCO (7-19, 37%); free throws: UFV (8-9, 89%), UBCO (7-11, 64%); rebounding: UFV (40) UBCO (33); turnovers: UFV (20) UBCO (15); points off of turnovers: both with (17); and assists both with (14).
The Heat were led by Aldrich Berrios who finished with 19 points, and Matt Lafontaine chipped in with 13 off the bench. Berrios led UBCO in rebounds with eight and he also dished out four assists.
Anthony Gilchrist finished with a game high 10 rebounds for UFV, after Dulay's game high 21 points both Andrew Morris and Mark Johnson contributed with 17 and 16 points respectively.
Dulay, the Surrey, B.C. product, does have an outside shot of setting a new Canada West single-season record for triples. He's made a nation-leading 76 this season, and seven more on Saturday would break the conference mark currently co-held by Nathan Dixon (Manitoba Bisons, 2008-09) and Daniel Ferguson (Calgary Dinos, 2010-11). Don't put it past Dulay – he's knocked down eight in a game on two occasions in 2016-17.
Rookie Triston Matthews, with his third straight start, had seven points in the first frame, however after ten minutes of fast paced play the Cascades were up 22-18 thanks to a balanced attack.
It took eight and a half minutes of the second frame for the Heat to draw even at 36. The teams traded baskets and went into halftime tied up at 40 apiece.
The Heat (2-17) will look to bounce against the Cascades (10-9) on Saturday night at 7 pm. in the UBC Okanagan gym. The Heat will honour two graduating players on Saturday night in the annual Seniors night ceremony prior to the tip-off, as both Mitch Goodwin and Cam Friesen will play their last games in a Heat uniform.
~ Notes from Dan Kinvig, Fraser Valley