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Wesmen start slow, finish strong in handling Heat

Faith Hezekiah had 14 points in Winnipeg's win over the UBC-Okanagan Heat Friday night. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics)
Faith Hezekiah had 14 points in Winnipeg's win over the UBC-Okanagan Heat Friday night. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics)

BY DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics

The alarm clock for the Winnipeg Wesmen buzzes right around halftime.

How else to explain the Wesmen women's basketball team's penchant for finding another gear – or kicking out of a slower one – once the clock hits 10 on the third quarter.

A sluggish second quarter – in which they scored just 10 points – gave way to a more dominant second-half for the Wesmen, who pulled away and won handily 76-48 over the UBCO Heat Friday night at the Duckworth Centre.

Winnipeg outscored the Heat 41-26 after halftime.

The Wesmen (13-6) were well on their way to blowing out the 0-19 Heat after a 25-9 first quarter, but were outscored 13-10 in the second to give UBCO at least a sign of life.

It wasn't like the Wesmen were ever in danger of squandering their significant lead – a 7-4 run was the most robust charge the Heat could muster – but it was nevertheless not particularly becoming of a team that is looking to host a playoff game next week.

"The first quarter we were kinda just cruising because we knew their record, so I think we kinda just took advantage of that in the first and second quarter," point guard Antoinette Miller said. "Then at halftime coach talked to us and I kinda just told (the teammates) we've gotta come outside of ourselves. We can't stay comfortable. … The third quarter we came out with a real spark and I like that."

VIDEO: Miller all smiles after win in front of family

Miller nearly had a triple-double with steals in another shining performance by the reigning conference player of the year. Miller finished with 31 points, 11 rebounds, seven steals and four assists playing in front of her parents and other family who flew from Arizona for the first time in her U SPORTS career.

"I was nervous at first, but it feels so good. I wish they could come more often, but it's a good feeling," Miller said.

Faith Hezekiah had 14 points, and Paige Hastings Van led three Wesmen in double digits in rebounds with 13. Skylar Boulanger, who along with Miller will be honoured on Senior Night Saturday, pulled down 10 boards, as Winnipeg outrebounded UBCO 46-22 and 15-7 on the offensive glass.

 Jordan Korol scored 18 points on an efficient 8-for-11 shooting to lead the Heat. She also added a team-high eight rebounds. The Heat finished 1-for-17 from three and shot 32.8 per cent from the field.