Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
LETHBRIDGE – Coming off two tough road losses in their last action, the Lethbridge Pronghorns had to work for it but returned to their early season winning ways with a 98-87 win over the Fraser Valley Cascades.
With the game remaining within two possessions throughout the majority of the game, but with just over three minutes remaining the Pronghorns (9-2) went on a 12-3 run to create the needed distance to pick up their ninth win of the season. The Cascades fall to 4-7.
"Our communication on defence was really poor tonight, but I thought we came up with stops when we needed them down the stretch," said Pronghorn head coach Mike Hansen.
Fourth-year forward Zac Overwater led all scorers, sitting a new career high in points with 31. Overwater previous career high was 30 he scored two weeks ago versus the Thompson Rivers Cascades.
Dejon Burdeaux picked up 15 points in the win, as all five starters picked up double-digits.
Coming off the bench, Brett Warren had arguably his best game as Pronghorn picking up six points, 11 assists and four rebounds.
Andrew Morris, who was on fire in the first half from long range had a team high 21 points for the Cascades. Morris was 6 for 10 from behind the arc, five of which came in the first half. Mark Johnson chipped in with 16 points, while Vick Toor picked 14 points to go along with six rebounds and seven assists.
Coming in looking to upset the Pronghorns, the Cascade shooters were electric in the first half, hitting on 54.8% from the field, including an impressive 9 of 18 from long range, while the Pronghorns struggled to find their rhythm offensively, missing all 10 three point attempts and shooting 44.4%.
Trips to the free throw line and offensive rebounds kept the Pronghorns in the lead at the end of both the first quarter and at the half but the leads were minuscule; 19-17 after one and 47-44 at half. The Pronghorns made 10 trips to the charity stripe in the opening half, compared to one trip for Fraser Valley, and 10 offensive rebounds contributed to the Pronghorns getting extra looks.
The back-and-forth play continued into the third quarter. Every time the Pronghorns would push the lead to five or six points, the Cascades would claw right back within a single point, but neither team could get over the hump. The Pronghorns held the lead for the entire second half but a pesky Cascades team would not go away quietly.
On the night the Pronghorns finished 49.4% from the field but only made one three pointer all night, as a team they went 1 for 13. In the end the difference for the Pronghorns was the ability to get to the free throw line, finishing 15 for 22.
After shooting a ridiculous 66% in the second quarter the Cascades cooled a bit to finish the night shooting 52.4% but their undoing was ball security, turning the ball over 27 times on the night.
The Pronghorns and Cascades will clash again tomorrow night in both teams final conference game of the first semester. Tip-off at the 1st Choice Savings Centre is set for 7:00pm.