Zachary Worden, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY, Alta – The Mount Royal University Cougars welcomed the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns to Kenyon court Saturday night, for the second game of the home and home series.
The Pronghorns took the first game of the series in dramatic fashion, as Dejon Burdeaux hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to win the game 96-93.
The second game of the series also went to the Pronghorns who came away with a 91-76 win over the hometown Cougars. The Pronghorns move to 6-0 on the year, keeping their perfect season alive, while the Cougars fall to 2-4 for the season.
The entire Lethbridge starting lineup scored in double figures, accounting for 78 of their total points. Leading the team in scoring was Dejon Burdeaux who finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and five steals, impacting the game offensively and defensively. The Pronghorn defense played aggressively all game and forced the Cougars into 24 turnovers.
Leading the way for Mount Royal was Josh Ross and LG Hegwood who combined for 45 points and 16 rebounds. After a hot start to the game, the Cougars were outscored in the final two quarters by 24 points and held to 36.5% percent shooting from the field and 23% on their three-point attempts.
Burdeaux came out of the gate attacking early leading the Pronghorn attack, scoring four early points. Neither team could get an advantage early as both offenses struggled to get good looks. After the high scoring series opener, both teams struggled to get into a rhythm combining to shoot 40% for the quarter. Ross and Kyle Petersen exchanged three-pointers in the last 10 seconds and the Cougars took a 20-19 lead into the second quarter, led by Ross's nine points.
The Cougars started the quarter on an 8-2 run and started to control the pace of the game. Despite the Cougars efforts to grow the lead, the Pronghorns always kept the game within reach, using back to back layups from Awak Piom to cut the lead to five. The Cougars were able to respond and grow their lead to 11 with two and half minutes remaining in the quarter. Although the Cougars had seemed to take control of the game the Pronghorns didn't stop competing and went on a 9-0 to put themselves right back in the game. 24 ended the half with a tough and-one to give the Cougars a 45-36 lead heading into the break.
The Pronghorns picked up their pace coming out of the locker room and scored the first nine points of the quarter to tie the game at 45. The Cougars didn't let the Lethbridge run rattle them as they took their lead back with five minutes remaining. The Cougars were able to get the Pronghorn's posts into foul trouble, but the Pronghorns wouldn't go away retaking the lead while relying on Burdeaux to lead the charge. A back and forth final two minutes saw the Pronghorn lead stay at six heading into the fourth.
The tight battle continued right into the fourth as both teams were able to score and keep the Calgary crowd entertained. Despite the Cougars early push the Pronghorns lead grew to 13 with five minutes remaining in the final quarter. The momentum in the final minutes of the fourth was all on the Lethbridge side. The Cougars couldn't get their shots to fall in the quarter and the Pronghorn offense was able to repeatedly get to the rim and convert their layups. When the buzzer sounded the Pronghorn's left the court with a 15-point victory.
Both teams start new series on Friday as the Manitoba Bisons make their way to Kenyon Court to take on the Cougars. The Pronghorns will travel to Kamloops to take on the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack. Both series will be streamed live on www.canadawest.com.