By Woodard, Dale on November 18, 2019.
The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s basketball team secured the perimeter.
It also secured their fifth win in a row as the Horns downed the Manitoba Bisons 82-78 in Canada West play Saturday night at the 1st Choice Savings Centre.
After watching the Bisons go a sizzling 14-for-29 beyond the arc on Friday – a game in which the Pronghorns hung on to win by one – Lethbridge closed off three-point land much more effectively in the rematch in a win that puts them at 5-1 this season.
“I’m really happy with the way we responded,” said Pronghorns head coach Dave Waknuk. “We talked all day about the defensive adjustments we wanted to make and I thought we did a good job of trying to take away what they were so effective with on Friday, which was their outside shooting. We guarded the perimeter a lot harder and a lot more consistently. I liked our defense. There were still moments we broke down and they made some runs, but I thought we were way more consistent in our defence and that just lead to a more consistent effort throughout the game.”
On Saturday, the Pronghorns held Bisons to six-for-23 from beyond the arc, good for 26.1 per cent.
“They have that ability to hit shots and I think for us, all year we’ve been talking about guarding the perimeter and guarding their three-point shooters and I think we did a good job of guarding the paint as a team,” said Waknuk. “I thought we adjusted well and change their attack a little bit.”
The Horns shut down the Bisons three-point shooting, but showed a nice touch of their own at the line as fifth-year veteran Kacie Bosch hit four-of-seven threes to lead her team with 24 points.
“On defence we’ve just done a lot better communicating and finding people in transition,” said Bosch. “Friday they had a lot of transition points and tonight Dave said that they only had two and that’s a huge difference. We made a point of driving them off the three-point line because yesterday they were hitting everything, so we just have to make sure we got an extra hand up.”
Katie Keith and Jessica Haenni each added 15 points for the Pronghorns and Amy Mazutinec added 12.
Keith also had another double-double with 12 rebounds.
“We have consistent played from our two most important players on the court,” said Waknuk of Bosch and Keith, both fifth-year players. “I think it’s because they can bring things on both ends of the floor. These games were frantic and there were moments of chaos, but they kept their heads and they just kept going and I think that made a big difference.”
Bosch did the bulk of the damage Saturday night, but credited the team’s spread around scoring to their 5-1 start that has them in first place in the Canada West, having pushed past the 4-0 Saskatchewan Huskies, who were idle on the weekend.
“We have a lot of double digit scores every single night and that’s huge,” she said. “You can’t just try to shut down one player, you have to shut down everybody. I think we’re very unselfish and we try to find the open player and get the ball up to get the ball back. We’re really sound and we trust each other and I think that is huge on offence.”
Lethbridge shot 44.4 per cent from the field and 81 per cent on free throws.
The Pronghorns round out the first semester in Abbotsford this weekend against the Fraser Valley Cascades and Nov. 29 and 30 in Vancouver against the UBC Thunderbirds.
They are back home Jan. 3 and 4 when the Regina Cougars pay a visit.
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