A pair of losses on the final weekend of the regular season didn’t prevent the UBC Okanagan Heat from entering unprecedented territory in Canada West basketball.
Claire Meadows’ women’s program finished the 2015-16 campaign at an even 10-10, the best record in the Heat’s brief five-year history in the CIS.
UBCO put up a fight against the high-powered Thompson Rivers Wolfpack, losing 78-61 on Friday night. Fourth-year forward Chloe Kennedy paced the Heat with 10 points and four rebounds.
On Saturday, with the President’s Cup on the line, another game effort from the Heat ended in a 70-60 loss to the ‘Pack.
Meadows, in her first year guiding the Okanagan team, said her team played hard in Saturday’s loss, just as the Heat did all season long.
“I thought we were pretty resilient,” Meadows said of her team’s effort in the final game of the season “We had three really good pushes. TRU went on a run and we came back with some of our own. It really symbolized how our team played this season.”
Emily Kanester led the Heat with 20 points, while Vanessa Botteselle added 12.
The Heat, who were in playoff contention until the final weekend of the season had four more victories in 2015-16 than their previous high.
Like the UBCO women, the Heat men chased an Explorer Division playoff spot right to the final weekend of the regular season.
In the end, a pair of losses to the first-place Thompson Rivers Wolfpack left UBCO (8-12) on the outside looking in.
On Friday in Kamloops, the ‘Pack prevailed 77-66. Mitch Goodwin, in his fourth season of university basketball, led the Heat with 24 points.
On Saturday, the Heat’s offence was clicking but it wasn’t enough in a 88-79 loss to the conference champs.
Aldrich Berrios led the way with 17 points while Buzz Truss and Goodwin chipped in with 16 apiece.
TRU also won the 2016 edition of the President’s Cup, an annual competition between the two schools.