Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
Lethbridge – For the second night in a row, the Lethbridge Pronghorns couldn't hold off the Saskatchewan Huskies, dropping a 86-82 decision.
Despite turning 28 Huskie turnovers into 31 points, the Pronghorns couldn't keep the Huskies off the free throw line for the second consecutive game and it cost them dearly, with the Huskies making more free throws than the Pronghorns attempted. On the night, the Huskies were 27 for 33 from the charity stripe, while the 'Horns hit on 14 of 20.
With the loss the 'Horns fall to 8-6 on the season and with the win the Huskies leapfrog the Pronghorns for fifth in Canada West and improve to 8-4.
Point guard Dejon Burdeaux scored a team high 24 points, while adding six assists and six steals in the loss. Mike Pierzchala came off the bench to score 17 points and leading scorer Elliott Sentance chipped in with 12 points.
Jaylan Morgan matched Burdeaux's 24 points to lead the Huskies. Lance Moore had another strong night coming off the bench to score 20 points on an efficient 5 for 9 shooting night. Shane Osayande picked up a double-double for the Huskies with a 17 point-14 rebound night.
Eerily similar to Friday night's contest, the Huskies opened an early seven point lead, hitting two three's and leading 10-3 only minutes into the game. But the Pronghorns responded to the Huskies hot start, with Pierzchala providing the spark with two quick buckets from long range and leading his team on a 13-0 run. In fact the 'Horns closed the opening 10 minutes with a 20-8 run to lead 23-18 at the first break.
While the Pronghorns led for the majority of the second quarter, they were unable to create any distance between themselves and the Huskies. A six point lead was the biggest of the half, before settling on a 39-35 lead at the half.
The tide turned in the third for the Huskies, scoring 28 points, 11 of which came from Morgan on a perfect shooting line of four for four, to surge ahead in the dying moments, 63-59, setting up an exciting fourth quarter again Saturday night.
With the Huskie lead hovering around eight points for a good portion of the final frame, Burdeaux's jumper with under a minute to play cut the game back to a one possession game, the 'Horns had a perfect scenario play out with Moore missing back to back free throws and giving the Pronghorns a glimmer of hope to tie but an ill-timed turnover spelled the end for the Pronghorns.
On the night, the Huskies were 49.1% from the field and owned the glass, out rebounding the Pronghorns 48-29. The Pronghorns shot 36.7% and not counting their final possessions did an exceptional job taking care of the ball, turning it over a season low nine times.
The 'Horns head out on the road next weekend traveling to Victoria to take on the Vikes. The Huskies will be back in Alberta next weekend, traveling to Calgary to face the Dinos.