By Jensen, Randy on November 2, 2019.
For the first three quarters of their home opener, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s basketball team looked in control.
But an early fourth-quarter lapse proved costly and opened the door for an Alberta Pandas comeback as the visitors posted a 66-54 win in Canada West play Friday night at the 1st Choice Savings Centre.
Trailing 51-48 in the fourth quarter, the Pandas went on an 11-point run and never gave the lead back on their way to the win as Alberta outscored the Pronghorns 24-8 in the final quarter.
“I think we played well for 75 per cent of the game,” said third-year Pronghorn forward Amy Mazutinec, who had a 16-point night to go along with seven rebounds. “That was the basketball we’ve been training for, but in the last quarter we had a shift in our energy and our execution and our defence. Our defence is what killed us because they got lots of putbacks and easy buckets.”
Katie Keith led the Horns with 17 points – going two-for-two beyond the arc – and pulled in 12 boards.
“I was happy with three-quarters of it, but unfortunately in this league you have to play four (quarters),” said Pronghorns head coach Dave Waknuk, whose team led 34-29 at the half. “Against good teams, if you make mistakes they’ll punish you and that’s what they did with us. It’s fixable things. It’s small things that we can control, but we just have to control it. They did a good job capitalizing on mistakes late. We did it early, but we just couldn’t keep it consistent.”
The Pronghorns shot 27.3 per cent from the field and 64.5 per cent from the free throw line.
“I think it’s just execution,” said Waknuk. “If you look at the way we executed for the first three quarters it was how we wanted to play. Move the ball and take care of the basketball. We just have to do that. There’s no real secret change or massive overhaul, it’s just going to be executing the details.”
The Pronghorns will look for the weekend split in the rematch today at 5 p.m. at the 1st Choice Savings Centre.
“I think this game is good for us to learn about our weaknesses and what we can do better,” said Mazutinec. “But also we can adapt to what they do when they play and that’s part of being an athlete, making changes.”
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