June 16th, 2024

Pronghorns look to hit the win column against Grant MacEwan

By Lethbridge Herald on February 2, 2023.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns basketball teams are experiencing a tough second half of the season, as they have gone winless through six games apiece, and hope to turn their fortunes around against the Grant MacEwan University Griffins at home tonight and Saturday night.

Horns women’s head coach Dave Waknuk thinks the execution piece is going to be big for the team against the Griffins.

He has liked the team’s execution, controlling the tempo and the defensive effort as of late.

“So it’s all those things that we been trying to build and it’s just trying to get it to peak right now at this time,” said Waknuk.

“And obviously these games are very important. But we just want to play our best basketball.”

Waknuk said they’re a well-coached team.

“They run some good action,” he said.

“So defensively that’s our focus of just trying to make sure we have good communication through our defence and then just trying to find our tempo. We know we like to play fast; we want to play up tempo. They’re going to try and slow us down. So for us it’s just trying to find that pace of play.”

Kyra Collier, a local product on the team, feels as though the team is confident in preparation for the Griffins in terms of focusing on themselves and playing to their level instead of theirs.

“But mostly just focusing on us playing how we’ve been playing these past weekends,” said Collier.

Collier spoke about how the other girls help out top scorers Haily Weaver and Jessica Haenni.

“We just really fill into our role on the team,” said Collier.

“Those two are obviously our top scorers. And so if everyone else plays the role of either like passer, driver, kicker (or) defender. We all need different roles that are filled in order for us to win the game.”

Men’s head coach Jermaine Small has reiterated to his team that they can’t play the Griffins to their record of 0-16.

“They play hard and let’s be honest, they have nothing to lose,” said Small.

“And teams that have nothing to lose usually play a little more loose and we have a lot more to lose than them at this point of the season. So I expect them to come in with no fear and just play. If we don’t play hard and do what we’re supposed to do and be urgent in what we do, then we could end up in a tough spot.”

Small would like the players build off of the strong defensive effort against Regina last Saturday in a 74-71 loss.

“Like when we hold teams to that kind of in between 70-75 range, we have a good chance of winning,” said Small.

“And I thought that we had different guys contribute … But it starts and ends with our defence and that’s good. I think that we can almost win any game.”

Small believes it takes mental toughness when it comes to coming to the gym and not winning.

“I just said to our guys, if you’re a competitor and I think we have a very competitive group like that , we should just embrace the challenge,” said Small.

“Yeah we could always go back and say, we should have won this game, that game. It’s easy to say but at the end of the day, you know, this is the hand we dealt ourselves and we got to just make the most of it and take (it)one game at a time.”

“We’re trying to focus on ourselves,” said guard Angelo Mbituyimana.

“We (found) like the past couple of games we’ve been beating ourselves with little mistakes, too many turnovers (and) too many fouls. Our key focus right now  is to stay discipline for the most part (and) try not to foul as much.”

The men’s team (4-12) will tip off at 8 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

The women’s games will be at 6 p.m. tonight and 5 p.m. on Saturday.

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