Grayson Leahy, UBC Okanagan Heat
KELOWNA, BC - The UBC Okanagan Heat lost to the Trinity Western Spartans 71-63 on Saturday night in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium. The Heat held the lead at the end of each of the first three quarters, but the Spartans, much like on Friday night, took over in the fourth quarter and pulled away.
Trinity Western were the better shooting team on Saturday night, shooting 50.9% from the field and 41.7% from three-point range. The Heat finished the night shooting 42.9 FG% and 30.8 3PT%, although the finished with the edge in free throw success, making five of eight for 62.5% from the stripe.
Coming into Saturday night's game, fifth year Heat guard Emily Kanester was only seven points away from setting a new career scoring record for UBC Okanagan's women's basketball program. The previous record holder was Roslyn Huber, who finished her Heat career with 899 points. Kanester had 893 at tip-off, and with a three-pointer in the second quarter put her total at 901, passing Huber.
Kanester led the team in scoring, finishing with 16 points, while Claire Elliott followed close behind with 12, adding nine rebounds and just missing a double-double.
For the Spartans, third year forward Tessa Ratzlaff led the way with 29 points, making 13 of her 22 shots from the field. Fifth year shooting guard Natalie Carkner and third year guard Jessie Brown also hit double digits, scoring 12 and 10 points respectively.
The first quarter ended with UBC Okanagan up one point, 18-17. The Spartans got on the board first with a Jessie Brown layup while fifth year Heat forward Chloe Kennedy started the Heat offence, scoring her team's first four points on a pair of jump shots. Trinity Western had a lead for the last five minutes of the quarter, before a Jordan Korol layup with 32 seconds left put the Heat up at the first buzzer. Kanester and Kennedy led the scoring in the first frame for the Heat with four points apiece, while fourth year forward Kayla Gordon led the Spartans with five.
The Heat started the second quarter by growing their lead to six, going up 23-17 a minute in, before back to back three-pointers by Luca Schmidt and Natalie Carkner brought the Spartans even with the Heat at 23 with 8:22 left in the first half. A free throw from Kanester gave the Heat back the lead with 7:19 left, before both defences took over through a two-minutes-long scoreless stretch. Emma Jonas got the scoring going again with a three-pointer with 5:12 left, putting the Heat up 27-23.
With 3:49 left in the first half, Emily Kanester hit a three to give her team a 32-23 lead, and put her name in the record books as the most prolific scorer to ever play for the UBC Okanagan Heat women's basketball team, with 901 career points.
At half-time, the Heat led 37-33. Kanester and Ratzlaff led their respective teams in scoring with eight points each. Claire Elliott had the most impressive stat line of the first half though, with seven points, six rebounds, and four assists.
The Heat started strong in the second half, going up 41-33 thanks to a Jordan Korol layup and a three-pointer from Chloe Kennedy. Three straight baskets by Retzlaff tied the game up at 43-43 at the 6:18 mark in the third. Trinity Western tied the game two more times, at 45-45 and 47-47, before taking their first lead of the second half, 48-47 with 2:49 to play in the quarter. The defences then took control again and the next basket didn't come until Vanessa Botteselle made a layup with 26 seconds to go, putting the Heat up 49-48 through three quarters.
Trinity Western took over at the beginning of the fourth quarter, scoring the first 11 points of the quarter and taking a 59-49 lead. The Spartans defence also kept the Heat off the board in the final quarter until Kanester converted an and-one with 6:30 left to play. A layup from Korol at the 4:38 mark made it a two possession game, but Sarah Buckingham answered quickly with a three and Trinity Western's defence shut down the Heat shooters and the next UBC Okanagan points came with 1:47 to go on another Kanester and-one conversion, making the score 67-60 in favour of the Spartans. The final minute and change was evenly played between the two teams, and at the final buzzer the Spartans led 71-63.
UBC Okanagan (0-2) will play their next games on Friday, Nov. 11 and Saturday, Nov. 12 when they travel to Manitoba to play the Brandon Bobcats (0-2). Trinity Western (2-0) will play next Friday and Saturday as well, when they play a home and home with the UFV Cascades (1-1).