Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
LETHBRIDGE – For the second night in a row, the Winnipeg Wesmen were efficient when they needed to be and completed an impressive road sweep of the Lethbridge Pronghorns with a tight 86-83 victory in Canada West men's basketball action.
Down three heading into the final quarter, the Wesmen were able to do just enough in a frantic low scoring fourth quarter. A one possession game down the stretch, the Pronghorns had numerous looks in the final minute, including three looks behind the arc in the final seconds but could not get a shot to drop to force overtime.
The win improves the Wesmen to 7-3 on the season. After starting the season 4-0, the Pronghorn have lost four straight games and fall to 4-4.
Relying on a balanced attack, the Wesmen had four starters in double digits in points but Sean Tarver led the attack with 17 points and was one rebound short of a double-double. Joseph Medrano chipped in with 15 points and Narcisse Ambanza had 14 points.
For the Pronghorns, Kyle Peterson led all scorers with 20 points, while Chad Oviatt had his most productive game as a Pronghorn coming off the bench to score 12 points.
Picking up where they left off from a night ago, the Pronghorns and Wesmen started the rematch Saturday night going back and forth. The Pronghorns opened with a 7-0 run, but the Wesmen followed suit with an 11-4 stretch to knot the game at 11 early into the quarter.
The ebbs and flows continued through out the opening quarter and at the first buzzer, the Wesmen held a 23-20 lead.
In the opening quarter, the Pronghorns struggled with their offensive efficiency, hitting on only 31% but were able to get extra looks with four offensive rebounds and four Winnipeg turnovers.
After being held in check through five quarters of action, the Pronghorns potent offence found its stride putting up 30 second quarter points, but a buzzer beater from Wesmen's Narcisse Ambanza at the half cut the Pronghorns lead to 50-44.
Just when it looked like the Pronghorns were going to take control, the Wesmen continued to show resiliency and regained the lead on the strength of the 13-4 run. However, like they had done all night last night, the Pronghorns responded with a mini run of their own and headed into the final quarter with a narrow 73-70 lead, setting up an exciting final 10 minutes.
On the night, the Pronghorns finished 40.8% from the field, but were only good on 26.5% of their long balls. The Wesmen were solid again, hitting on 47% from the floor and despite 2-for-12 from behind the arc in the second half, finished the night hitting on 32.1% from three.
The Pronghorns will get a good test before the semester break next week, facing the defending U SPORTS Champion Calgary Dinos in a home-and-home series, starting Thursday night in Lethbridge. Winnipeg will also close out the first semester of conference action with a home-and-home series with the Brandon Bobcats.
Photo by: MPP Photography