Third-quarter lapse the difference as Griffins fall 90-62 to the Heat

Thai Haak guards UBCO's Elan Kimpton-Cuellar on Saturday (Will Thompson photo).
Thai Haak guards UBCO's Elan Kimpton-Cuellar on Saturday (Will Thompson photo).

MacEwan Athletics

KELOWNA, B.C. – A rough third quarter proved to be the difference as the Griffins men's basketball team fell 90-62 to the UBC Okanagan Heat on Saturday night.

MacEwan led early in the contest (22-21 after the first quarter) and trailed just 45-40 at half-time, but the wheels fell for a stretch in the third and it was game over.

"We had a third-quarter letdown, lost it 23-9 and were down by 20 going into the fourth," said head coach Mike Connolly. "They hit six open threes and missed assignments led to 27 easy shots, which was the difference in the game. Lack of defensive communication hurt us."

With the result, the Griffins fall to 0-18 on the season, while the Heat improve to 6-12.

Gavin Ashworth led UBCO with 28 points on 6-for-13 shooting from beyond the arc, while Elan Kimpton-Cuellar had a double double (17 points, 10 rebounds), Jalen Shirley hit 17 points and Hafith Moallin recorded 13 points and eight assists.

MacEwan was led by Milan Jaksic, who had a 17-point effort, while Thai Haak had 12 points and seven boards, and Damilola Osuma narrowly missed a double double with nine points and 10 rebounds.

"We did a better job controlling the boards today," said Connolly. "Dami controlled the defensive rebounds and earned 10 boards and nine points. Milan Jaksic had 17 points, shooting 7-for-10 from the floor. He was shooting well and finishing."

Jaksic fouled out of the contest with 4:38 left and finished with only 16 minutes.

Shooting disparities were evident all over the stats sheet between the winning and losing teams. UBCO outshot MacEwan from the field (46.4 to 33.8), from the three-point line (38.5 to 11.5) and at the charity stripe (76.2 on 16-for-21 to 46.7 on 7-for-15).

The Griffins return home for their season finale vs. Victoria on Feb. 9-10.