Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
LETHBRIDGE – Having secured their first post-season appearance in seven years, the Lethbridge Pronghorns women's basketball team put an end to a six-game losing streak with a 72-63 over the Alberta Pandas.
With the game tied at 48 after three quarters, the Pronghorns opened the fourth on a 11-0 run and were able to hold off the Pandas down the stretch for the victory.
The win guarantees Lethbridge their first winning season since 1993-94 when they finished 14-6, and improve to 11-8 with one game to play. The loss drops the Pandas to 10-9.
"Extremely proud of our 'Horns tonight as they finished the game strong," said Pronghorn head coach Dave Adams. "We had a good fail forward from the UBC loss and grew from that heartbreak."
"Tonight was a big step forward for our program to get a signature win but the Pandas are very well coached and will be ready to battle tomorrow.
Kacie Bosch and Kathryn Hankins led the Pronghorns with 12 points each. Bosch also picked up six assists, five rebounds and two steals. Danielle Fritzke and Katie Keith also hit for double digits with Fritzke collecting 11 points and Keith one behind with 10.
For the Pandas, Elle Hendershot led all scorers on this night with 16 points and completed a double-double with 14 rebounds. Emma Kary and Lauren Earl picked up 15 and 13 points respectively.
After a close back-and-forth opening quarter, the Pronghorns built on a two point lead in the second with a 21 point quarter aided by strong team shooting, hitting over 61% in the quarter and carried a seven point lead at the half.
Trailing by seven entering the third, the Pandas scored eight of the first 10 points to open, cutting the game back to a single point and completed the comeback with just under four minutes to play, taking their first lead since the opening quarter, 44-43.
Over the final three minutes of the third, the Pronghorns and Pandas traded baskets until Zoe Dahl hit a jumper in the final seconds of the third to tie the game at 48 and provide the Pronghorns with the needed momentum to go on an early run in the fourth to pull away from the Pandas.
After struggling with their shooting during the six game losing streak, the Pronghorns finished the night with a solid 45.9% from the field, compared to the Pandas 37.9%. The rest of the stat line for this game was nearly identical except for the bench points, where Lethbridge's bench outscored Alberta's 24-12.
The Pronghorns held a 37-32 rebounding advantage and the Pandas turned the ball over 20 times compared the Pronghorns 19.
Tomorrow night, the Pronghorns and Pandas will wrap up their respective Canada West conference schedules, tip-off at the 1st Choice Savings Centre is slated for 5:00pm. Catch all the action on www.canadawest.tv.