Connor Hood, Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON - Four Alberta Pandas finished with double-digit point totals, as the Pandas earned a tight 68-62 win over the Lethbridge Pronghorns, Friday night at Saville Community Sports Centre.
Vanessa Wild and Emma Kary led Alberta with 14 points each, while Jenna Harpe added 13 to go along with 10 from Megan Tywoniuk. Kary finished one rebound shy of a double-double, while Brooklyn Legault finished with a game-high 10 rebounds off the bench for Alberta.
The win is the third-straight for the Pandas, who improve to 5-2 in conference play. The loss is the first this season for the Pronghorns (4-1).
Kacie Bosch and Danielle Fritzke led Lethbridge with 12 points each in defeat.
A highly competitive game from the moment it started, Friday night's clash featured 10 ties and eight lead changes, with the Pandas pulling away thanks to a strong fourth quarter.
The Pronghorns opened the match as the stronger side, taking an early 13-11 lead over Alberta. Lethbridge capitalized all night from the free-throw line, finishing 13/16, compared to a 13/19 mark for the Pandas.
The Pandas were, however, able to take advantage of a poor shooting quarter from the visitors in the second, as a 17-11 second gave Alberta a slim 28-26 lead heading into the half.
More stellar defensive play from the Pandas in the second half pushed them over the top, as they outscored Lethbridge 22-8 in points off turnovers. Lethbridge turned the ball over 17 times, compared to just 11 for Alberta.
Emma Kary was also spectacular in the second half, scoring 10 of her 14 in the final two quarters. Alberta pulled away from the back-and-forth game in the fourth, outscoring Lethbridge 22-16 in the final quarter, after the teams were tied 46-46 after three.
The two sides will face off again tomorrow night in the rematch, with the series finale scheduled for 5:00 p.m. MST in Edmonton.