Zachary Worden, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY – The second game of the weekend series between the Mount Royal University Cougars and University of Alberta Pandas tipped-off Saturday afternoon at Kenyon Court.
The Pandas were able to follow up their win Friday night with a 69-57 win, sweeping the series and moving to .500 for the season.
The Panda offense was led by Emma Kary who finished with a game-high 19 points. Elle Hendershot and Briana Carylon both had big games on the offensive end, as Hendershot had 18 points and 19 rebounds, finishing with a double-double, while Carylon had 13 points and nine rebounds of her own. All three Pandas managed to shoot 70% or higher from the field.
The Cougars looked to Gala Mestres and Abbey Gillette for scoring and they responded with 14 and 11 points respectively. Becky Nash who finished with eight rebounds, Michelle Tiffany and Charity Marlatt who had six rebounds each, all came up big on the glass for the Cougars throughout the night.
The first quarter started with fast-paced action, as both teams looked to get out and run. Neither team could control the game early and the two teams traded baskets going back and forth.
Despite a 7-0 Cougar run late in the quarter, The Pandas were able to take a 14-12 lead at the end of the first 10 minutes.
Carylon led the way early, scoring six points in the first quarter and converting on three of her four shots.
The Pandas were able to go on a 9-0 run out of the quarter break to extend their lead to double-digits and secure the momentum of the game.
The Cougars responded with a run of their own to cut into the Panda lead to three and put themselves right back into the game. Gillette accounted for six of the Cougar points on back to back possessions, converting an and-one and then knocking down a three-pointer from the corner.
The Pandas came away from the first half with a 33-24. 1 took over in the quarter, as she scored 8 points and hadn't missed a shot at the break.
The Cougars were led by Gillette and Erin Kehrig who combined to score 14 points in the first half, including seven combined made free-throws.
The Pandas came out of the break and scored on their first two possessions, forcing a quick Cougar timeout as they looked to start a comeback.
Out of the timeout, both teams picked up their defensive intensity, but the Cougars slowly cut down the Panda lead to single-digits and put themselves within reach heading into the final quarter of the game.
Hendershot had a big quarter scoring 10 points, securing her double-double while being the inside presence for the Pandas.
The two teams started the quarter trading baskets, as the Pandas looked to keep the Cougar comeback at bay.
The Cougars wouldn't go away as they kept the Pandas lead around 10 but were unable close the gap any further.
Kary exploded in the second-half for the Pandas, as she scored 17 points while making five of her seven shot attempts.
When all was said and done the Pandas took a 12-point victory and a series sweep at Kenyon Court.
Both teams are back in action next weekend as the Pandas return home to host the MacEwan Griffins in the first game of a home and home series, that kicks off on January 25th. While the Cougars will hit the road once again to face the University of Victoria Vikes in a weekend series. All games will be streamed live on www.canadawest.tv.