Zachary Worden, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY, Alta – The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns visited the Mount Royal Cougars at Kenyon Court Saturday night, to cap off a home and home series.
In the first game of the series, the Pronghorns took a 72-56 win on their home floor to keep their perfect record intact. The Pronghorns were able to come back from a 14-point halftime deficit and take the second game of the series by a score of 75-61.
Leading the way offensively for Lethbridge was Danielle Fritzke who caught fire in the second half, hitting five three-pointers and leading the Pronghorn comeback. Katie Keith filled the stat sheet impacting both ends of the floor, ending with eight points, 10 rebounds, four assists and six steals.
For the Cougars Becky Nash ended with a double-double accounting for 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Cougars relied on the playmaking of Michelle Tiffany throughout the game who ended with 11 points and five assists on the night.
The Cougars came out of the gate on fire, breaking out to a 12-4 lead. The Cougars found success by working the ball to Nash who responded with six early points. The Pronghorns weren't phased by the Cougars early success as they kept the game close, forcing the Cougars to turn the ball over.
The Pronghorns used a team approach on the offensive end as they spread the ball around and got contributions from all their players. The Cougars continued their hot start and after the first 10 minutes took a 20-14 lead.
The Pronghorns looked to close the gap in the second but weren't able to get their shots to fall. Cougars guard Tiffany took the lead in the quarter ending the half with nine points and four rebounds, the Cougars extended their lead to 11 and forced a Pronghorn timeout. The Pronghorns came out of the timeout and crashed the offensive glass and used the extra possessions to get to the free-throw line. The Cougars upped their defensive pressure to end the quarter, building their lead to double digits and taking control of the game. A hot shooting half resulted in 53% shooting for the Cougars, meanwhile, the Pronghorns struggled from the field only making 25% of their shots and none of their 10 three-point attempts. When the buzzer sounded to end the first half the Cougars led 40-26.
The Pronghorns came out of the halftime break determined to come back and scored the first 11 points of the third. Coming out in a full-court press the Pronghorns were able to keep the Cougars from setting up their offense. Fritzke hit four three-pointers in the quarter leading the comeback for the Pronghorns, who completed their comeback and took a 46-44 lead with three minutes remaining in the quarter, forcing a Cougars timeout. The two teams ended the quarter trading baskets, with the Pronghorns holding onto a three-point lead going into the fourth.
The Cougars came into the fourth quarter determined not let the game slip away tying the game at 57. The Pronghorns responded to the Cougars push by going on a 13-0 run and taking control of the game down the stretch. The Cougars weren't able to keep up their hot shooting from the first half as they were only able to shoot 28% in the final two quarters. The Pronghorns outscored the Cougars by 28 points in the second half, shooting 58% and keeping their perfect season alive.
Both Teams are in action again on Friday night, as the Cougars will host the Manitoba Bisons to a weekend series and the Pronghorns hit the road to visit the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack in Kamloops. Both series will be streamed live on www.canadawest.com.