Connor Hood, Golden Bears Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON – The Lethbridge Pronghorns earned the upset series sweep, as they topped the Alberta Pandas 67-60 in Game 2 of their Canada West quarter-final series, Friday night at Saville Community Sports Centre.
The win sends the Pronghorns to the conference semifinal, their first trip since 1995. Lethbridge went to three-straight conference semifinals from 1993-1995, winning their lone Canada West Championship in 1993.
Katie Keith led the 'Horns in Game 2, finishing with a game-high 21 points on 8/13 shooting. Asnate Fomina added 17, while Kacie Bosch chipped in with 11
The Pandas struggled to find offensive rhythm all weekend, shooting just 31% in the Game 2 loss. Emma Kary led Alberta with 18 points, while Vanessa Wild added 16.
Picking up where they left off offensively from Game 1, the Pronghorns continued to showcase their shooting prowess on Friday night. Fomina led Lethbridge with eight points on 2/3 shooting in the first, while Lethbridge hit four of their six three-point attempts in the quarter.
The Pandas, thanks to a 61% clip in the first, kept pace, trailing only 22-18 after one. As it did the previous night, costly turnovers plagued the Pandas, who committed six after one, and nine at the half break.
Fomina continued to pace the Lethbridge attack, pouring in another five in the second, as Lethbridge shot 64% from three at the half. A dominant quarter by Lethbridge, which saw them hold Alberta to 12 points, gave them a 12-point cushion after two.
What little offence the Pandas did have, completely evaporated in the third quarter. Alberta shoot a measly 3/23 in the third, including 1/4 from beyond the arc. Lethbridge didn't shoot much better, but added four points to their lead, upping it to 55-39.
The Pandas played with urgency in the fourth, fighting for their playoff lives. However, any run they had was quickly negated by offensive turnovers. Despite being outscored 21-12 in the fourth, the Pronghorns were never overly threatened late, holding on for the seven-point win.
The Lethbridge Pronghorns will now await the winner of the Saskatchewan vs Winnipeg series in the conference quarter-final, hosted by either Saskatchewan or Lethbridge.