Randall Mosca hit a tough off-balance jump shot, plus the foul, with six seconds remaining in regulation to snap a tie and lift the UBC Okanagan Heat to a 68-65 win over the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team on Saturday evening in Kelowna.
The Cascades, coming off an 81-65 win over UBCO on Friday, were missing their top two scorers – Kevon Parchment and Vijay Dhillon – due to injury for Saturday’s rematch.
UFV still had plenty of available firepower – Manny Dulay knocked down five three-pointers on his way to 24 points, Nate Brown racked up 19 points, and Brandon Burke chipped in with 12 points. All three players made at least half of their field goal attempts, and the Cascades shot 49 per cent from the field as a team.
But the Heat hung around behind a strong performance from point guard Mitch Goodwin, who tied Dulay for game-high honours with 24 points.
After Dulay missed a runner in the lane with 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the score knotted at 65-65, Mosca a drew a bump from UFV’s Marcus Morgan with the shot clock winding down and tossed up a shot. The ball rattled around the rim and fell through, and Mosca made the ensuing free throw.
Burke had a chance to send it to overtime, but his three-point attempt hit the rim.
The Cascades (10-6) maintain a two-game lead over the Heat (8-8) in the race for second place in the Explorer Division, with four regular-season games remaining for each team.
“(Mosca) has hit a lot of big shots for them this season, so he was used to that moment,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen said afterward. “The rim had a nice roll, but that’s what happens in a close game. You win some, you lose some, and that guy hit a big shot.
“It was really good to see Manny being so aggressive,” Friesen continued, reflecting on his team’s performance. “He and Nate really had to lead the way for us offensively and did a nice job of being aggressive and making things happen. It was also a good opportunity for other guys to get more minutes than they’re used to, and hopefully that experience of a close game in the fourth quarter comes in handy later in the year.”
The Cascades basketball teams are at home next weekend vs. the Thompson Rivers WolfPack. Games run Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.) at the Envision Athletic Centre.
Friday marks the women’s basketball team’s ninth annual CIS Shoot for the Cure game, along with UFV Alumni Night. Saturday is Senior Night for fifth-year players Parchment and Shayna Cameron of the women’s squad.