Zachary Worden, Cougars Athletics
CALGARY, Alta – The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns made their way to Kenyon Court to kick-off the first half of a home and away series with the Mount Royal University Cougars. The game offered a big chance for both teams to gain position in the Canada West standings as both came into the game with six wins.
The Pronghorns were able to get the better of the Cougars and take the 108-69 victory. Their offense was impressive all game long as they shot 53% from the field and 37% from three on their way to their 108 points. They scored 59 points in the second half, catching fire from the field. Zac Overwater finished with a near double-double. He scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Four other Lethbridge players scored in double-digits as Mike Pierzchala, Brett Warren, Josh Sparkes and Keanu Funa all added more than 10 points to Lethbridge's offensive output.
The Cougars offense had a tough shooting night and had a tough time making a comeback when their shots just wouldn't fall. Quinn Taylor led the team in scoring for the game. His shooting helped the MRU attack early and helped him score 13 points in the game. Glen Yang and Matthew Guinto were the other Cougars to score in double-digits. The pair combined for 23 points and were able to create offense from the perimeter.
The first quarter was tightly contested as both teams traded runs. Overwater and Taylor were the offensive leaders through the first 10 minutes. Overwater put in 10 points and only missed one shot from the field as the controlled the inside. For the Cougars Taylor knocked down two threes on his way to eight first quarter points.
After the high-scoring start to the game, the two teams settled in on the defensive end in the second quarter. The Pronghorns were able to turn their success defensively into points on the other as they started to build up a lead throughout the quarter.
A late Lethbridge run capped off by Pierzchala buzzer-beating three, helped them take an 11-point lead into halftime. Their offense shot 51% in the half, as they were able to get good looks in transition and at the rim.
The Cougars' offense was led by Yang and Samuel Willis III who combined for 20 points through the first 20 minutes, shooting a combined 6-10 from the field. MRU shot the ball well from behind the arc in the first half, making five of their 12 attempts for a 42% conversion rate.
The Pronghorns came out of the halftime break and took control of the game. Their defense was able to keep the Cougars' offense down for most of the quarter. After being held to eight points through the first six minutes of the quarter, the Cougars were able to score nine in the final four and cut back into their deficit.
The Lethbridge offense scored 28 points in the third, knocking down four threes while shooting 48% from the field in the quarter. They set themselves up with a 22-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
The Pronghorns' offense kept their momentum rolling into the fourth quarter. They put up 31 points in the final 10 minutes and controlled the action until the final buzzer. The win marked their seventh of the year and their third in a row.
The Cougars will head to Lethbridge on Saturday night for the second half of the series. The game can be streamed live on www.canadawest.tv at 7:00 p.m. MDT.