Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
LETHBRIDGE – The Lethbridge Pronghorn men's basketball team didn't have an answer at either end of the court for fifth-year guard Conor Morgan, as he led his UBC Thunderbirds to a 84-71 win over the Pronghorns in the first game of a two game set in Lethbridge.
The loss is the Pronghorns third in a row, all without point guard and leading scorer Dejon Burdeaux, dropping their season record to 10-5. UBC improves to 11-2 and remains one game behind the Alberta Golden Bears for top spot in Canada West.
Conor Morgan had a big night in the win for the T-Birds, scoring a game high 30 points to go along with 11 rebounds, six assists, six blocks and three steals. Patrick Simon came off the bench to pick up 12 points and Phil Jalalpoor and Luka Zaharijevic each picked up 10 points in the win.
For the Pronghorns, Burdeaux's replacement Brett Warren led the way with 17 points. Zac Overwater and Kyle Peterson had 15 and 13 respectively. Freshman Mark Rodehutskors had his best night statistically as a Pronghorn, coming off the bench to score 11 points and grab seven rebounds.
Following a tight opening quarter, that placed the Thunderbirds up 23-20, UBC blew the game open in the second quarter, holding the Pronghorns to a mere seven points, while depositing 20 of their own to hold a commanding 43-27 lead at half.
Turnovers and missed layups plagued the Pronghorns in the opening the half, turning the ball over 16 times in the first 20 minutes, leading to 13 UBC points and finishing with a 30.3% from the floor. UBC hit on 46.2% in the half.
Morgan was an unstoppable force at both ends of the court for the Thunderbirds, leading all scorers with 16 points, five defensive rebounds and three blocks in the first half.
Morgan picked up where he left off, blocking the Pronghorns first attempt of the third quarter and 10 of his team's 19 points in the quarter to give the Thunderbirds a 65-44 lead after three.
Despite scoring 27 points in the final quarter, the closest the Pronghorns would get was 13 points following two Brett Warren free throws with only seconds to play.
On the night, The Thunderbird finished shooting 45.1% from the field and out rebounded the Pronghorns 54-40. The Pronghorns finished with a 33.3 shooting percentage but were 5-for-24 from behind the arc. Despite turning the ball over 22 times, the Pronghorns were able to generate 20 steals of their own.
The Pronghorns and T-Birds will hit the hardwood at the 1st Choice Savings Centre tomorrow night to conclude their weekend set. Catch all the action on www.canadawest.tv.