Jason Hills, Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON - It's been a long road for Brooklyn Legault to get back on the court for the University of Alberta Pandas, but after two years of battling season-long injuries that have kept her away from the game, she's finding her stride this year.
The third-year power forward provided a huge spark off the bench and played a key role in a big fourth-quarter run to help Alberta to a 84-72 win over the Manitoba Bisons Saturday night at the Saville Community Sports Centre.
Legault finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Alberta was once again led by the dynamic duo of Emma Kary and Vanessa Wild who scored 24 and 14 points respectively. Kary also chipped in with 12 rebounds, while Manitoba's Nicole Konieczny had a 16-point, 10 rebound performance in the loss.
"We know that she's such a quality player and a great defender and to see her be more aggressive tonight was so great to see. She was going hard to the basket and working hard and getting rewarded," said Pandas head coach Scott Edwards.
Tied 52-52 heading into the fourth quarter, Alberta went on a 15-0 run and ripped the heart out of the Bisons as they took control of the game and didn't look back.
The Pandas victory was the eighth straight for Alberta and improves their record to 10-2, while Manitoba dropped their seventh in a row and fall to 5-7, but the Bisons gave the Pandas everything they could handle.
"They were everything we thought they'd be and they're well-coached and I knew they would be ticked off with their performance last night and we got their best punch tonight. We really had to weather storm until we got that spark and we finally got it in the start of the fourth quarter," said Edwards.
"They totally took the three away from us, they contested better. You have to give them a lot of credit to them.
For three quarters, Manitoba looked like they may steal the victory away from Alberta. They forced the Pandas into making tough shots offensively and they were getting big contributions from a trio of players.
Claire Harvey had 16 points, and nine rebounds, while Taylor Randall also scored 16 and Emma Thompson had 15 points and eight rebounds.