Arron Lai, Pronghorn Athletics
LETHBRIDGE, Alta - In their first home game of 2019, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns showcased their resiliency as a team, outscoring the Mount Royal Cougars 50-25 in the second half on their way to a 89- 61 victory and a series sweep of the Cougars.
The teams opened their weekend series Thursday night in Calgary, as the Pronghorns put an end to a four game losing streak with an 83-59 victory over the Cougars. Unlike their series opener where the 'Horns would comfortably outscore the Cougars in all four quarters en route to the victory, the Cougars put up much more of a fight in this game's first half.
After trailing by six after the first quarter, the Cougars would outscore the Pronghorns 23-20 in the second half to pull within three points at halftime. However, the 'Horns would break the game open in the second half thanks to a dominant performance on the glass. The story of the game was the Lethbridge dominance on the glass, and defensive side of the ball. The 'Horns would outrebound Mount Royal 54 to 38 with 21 of the Lethbridge rebounds being offensive boards. The 'Horns would also force thirteen turnovers, and had seven steals in the game.
Both Katie Keith (15 points, 11 rebounds) and Logan Moncks (10 points, 10 rebounds) registered double-doubles on the night, with Danielle Fritzke, Kacie Bosch, and Asnate Fomina all also registering double digits in points.
The Cougars were led by Abbey Gillette (10 points, 4 rebounds), and Maddison Hooper (12 points, 5 rebounds).
Both teams started the game trading baskets, as Katie Keith and Logan Moncks would hit jump shots for the Pronghorns with the Cougars able to respond. After the Cougars split free throw, the 'Horns would begin building momentum after a Katie Keith three pointer, scoring seven straight points. The Cougars would be unable to match the pace of the 'Horns for the remainder of the frame as the 'Horns would take a 19-13 lead after the first quarter. Strong rebounding was the story of the quarter for the 'Horns, as they would track down 15 rebounds in the quarter, with 7 being of the offensive variety.
The Cougars would show resilience in the second quarter, finding greater success with their offense. After the 'Horns would score the first basket of the quarter to widen their lead to eight, the Cougars would find success with small runs to slowly trim the Pronghorns lead. A well-balanced offense would be a big part of the Cougars success in the second quarter, as eight Mount Royal players would find the scoresheet. The Cougars would have more success on the glass in the quarter, matching the 'Horns with 10 rebounds a piece. Despite this, the 'Horns would take a three point lead into the half, leading 39-36.
Mount Royal would build off their strong second quarter to start the third, tying the game 41-41 two minutes into the quarter. From there, the 'Horns would begin to show their offensive prowess, as Kacie Bosch, Katie Keith, and Asnate Fomina would begin to take over. Momentum would truly begin to shift after a phenomenal play on both ends by Kacie Bosch. First, she would force a steal with a defensive play as the Cougars brought the ball up the floor, followed by a strong drive to the hoop to draw a foul. Asnate Fomina would then show off her offensive talents, spinning around a Mount Royal defender and finishing strong at the rim to open up the game for the 'Horns. Lethbridge would outscore the Cougars in the frame, 23-12 en route to a 62-48 lead after three quarters of play.
The fourth quarter would see more of the same from the Pronghorns, as their dominance on the glass, and defensive end of the floor was too much for the Cougars. The 'Horns would shoot an impressive 10-16 in the frame, outscoring Mount Royal 27-13 in the final quarter.
The Pronghorns will stay at home next weekend as they host the University of Victoria Vikes in a matchup with playoff positioning at stake, as the Vikes currently sit one spot above the 'Horns in the standings. Friday tip off is set for 6pm MT time, with the Saturday rematch taking place at 5pm MT. The Cougars will return home to Calgary as they host the Canada West leading Saskatchewan Huskies.
Photo by: MPP Photography