By Woodard, Dale on November 4, 2019.
The key for a rebound and weekend split for the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s basketball team wasn’t rocket science.
In fact, it was simple and it resulted in the Horns first win of the season following a 74-66 victory over the Alberta Pandas in Canada West play Saturday night at the 1st Choice Savings Centre.
All five Pronghorns starters hit double digits as Lethbridge salvaged a 1-1 season-opening weekend following a 66-54 loss to the Pandas Friday night.
“It was just executing defensively,” said Pronghorns head coach Dave Waknuk of the turnaround. “I felt like we did a lot of good things on Friday, but it got lost in the fact that we went a long time without scoring in the fourth quarter. Saturday we made some adjustments defensively and a credit to this team, they can take and apply adjustments quickly and apply them easily into games. I thought a couple of things that we changed defensively made a difference for us. Offensively, I think I would’ve liked us to turn over the ball a little less. The number was quite high and I think the types of turnovers were problematic, but I think we guarded hard and I thought we played physical and we did a good job defensively to set the tone for the rest of the game.”
In the men’s game the Horns lost 105-83 to the Golden Bears to go 0-2 on the weekend.
In the women’s game, Jessica Haenni led the Pronghorns with 16 points and shot four-for-six from three-point range.
Katie Keith and Kacie Bosch added 13 points each and Amy Mazutinec and Jessica Zarowny each scored 11.
Mazutinec had the double-double with 12 rebounds.
“We had all five starters in double figures,” said Waknuk. “For us to get that win scoring like that is massive. Amy had another strong game for us and had a double-double. I think that’s really going to help us. She’s had a good run of games.”
The Horns shot 49 per cent from the field Saturday night and 66.7 on free throws.
After Friday’s fourth quarter lull, Waknuk noted a more consistent scoring attack Saturday.
“We had the lead after three quarters like we did the night before.”
“So we definitely talked about it and we didn’t ignore it. We knew it was going to take a little bit more energy and a little bit more fight because against a good team, like we saw on Friday, if you make mistakes how quickly they can punish you for it. I thought we did a good job of being aware aware of it. I felt like the nerves in the first game were past us and I think the confidence of our veteran group showed in that fourth quarter. They knew they needed to close it and they did it defensively.”
Keith and Bosch each had four steals Saturday night.
Led by Haenni, the Pronghorns shot 35.3 per cent from the three-point line.
“I think that’s the part of our game we want to keep developing,” said Waknuk. “She (Haenni) is a great shooter and I think we obviously miss Danielle Fritzke from last year, who was a major shooter for us. For Jessica to be able to step in and find her outside shot is going to make us tough. It was nice to see her play that way.”
Through 12 games, Keith leads the Pronghorns with 15 points-per-game, good for a tie for 12th in the Canada West. She’s also seventh in the league in steals with five and Bosch is tied for eighth with four.
Keith and Mazutinec are fifth and eighth in rebounds in the league with 21 and 19, respectively.
Haenni is tied for fifth in the Canada West with eight assists.
The Golden Bears scored at least 20 points in each quarter on their way to victory over the Pronghorns men. Alberta led 56-38 at halftime.
Scott Mazutinec led the Horns with 21 points and Jeff Rodehutskors added 19. Chad Oviatt also hit double digits for Lethbridge with 12. Oviatt also had three steals.
Colton Gibb and Keanu Funa had seven rebound each. Gibb’s 17 rebounds on the weekend have him tied for ninth in the league.
Mazutinec is tied for ninth in the Canada West in points-per-game at 19. Gibb is fifth in the league in steals with six.
Kyle Peterson is tied for sixth in assists with eight.
The Pronghorns return to action this weekend when they travel to Brandon to take on the Bobcats Friday and Saturday.
They are back home Nov. 15 and 16 when the Manitoba Bisons visit the 1st Choice Savings Centre.
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