Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorns Athletics
Lethbridge – Playing in their final home series of the season, the Lethbridge Pronghorn women's basketball playoff aspirations took a serious hit with a 72-66 loss to the UBC Okanagan Heat.
Heading into the weekend, the Pronghorns were tied with the MacEwan Griffins for 12th in the conference, and after both the Griffins and Horns losses tonight both teams remain tied with 4-13 records.
For the Heat, it was a triumphant return for former Pronghorn assistant coach Clare Meadows, who made her homecoming to Lethbridge as the bench boss of the Heat. Meadow was an assistant coach with the Pronghorns under Erin McAleenan for three seasons from 2012 to 2015. The win also improves the Heat's record to 3-12 and move within a game of the Pronghorns and Griffins.
Zoe Dahl led the way for the Pronghorns in the loss with 20 points, while Jessica Bachynski recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Teesha Olson and Katie Keith rounded out the Pronghorns scoring with 14 and 13 points respectively.
On the night, the Pronghorns didn't have an answer for Chloe Kennedy as she scored a game high 28 points on an efficient 9 for 12 shooting night, including a perfect four for four. Emily Kanester was the only other Heat to reach double digits with 14 points.
The visitors jumped out to an early lead, building a 10 point advantage just past the halfway mark of the game and settled on a 22-14 lead at the first break. Kennedy was the early story, going a perfect five for five, with three from behind the arc to pace the Heat with 14 points, while the Pronghorns struggled hitting only 5 of 18 (27.8%) in the quarter, including hitting only once from long range on eight attempts.
In the second it was a different story with the Heat only hitting three shots from the floor in the quarter, all three were of the three point variety but the home side began to heat up shooting a better 42.9% and with an 18-9 quarter, held a 32-31 lead at the half.
After a scoreless second quarter, Kennedy picked the Heat back up in the second half, leading her team with six points in the third and propelling the Heat back in front early and providing them the lead heading into the final frame, 51-47, setting up an entertaining fourth quarter.
Despite the Pronghorns tying the score twice in the fourth, Kennedy would continue to keep her team in front, but the Pronghorns continued to hang around. With less than 30-seconds to play, a Bachynski bucket brought the Pronghorns back within one and following two Emily Kanester free throws, Dahl had a good look to tie the game with a three but her shot rimmed out. Kennedy sealed the win with a pair throws.
On the night, the Heat shot 38.3% compared to the Pronghorns 31.3%, while Lethbridge held a distinct advantage on the glass, out rebounding Okanagan 44-33.
The 'Horns and Heat will conclude their weekend set tomorrow night at the 1st Choice Savings Centre, tip is set for 5:00pm. Catch all the action on www.canadawest.tv.