By Woodard, Dale on February 22, 2020.
The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s basketball team is going to go out play, well, some basketball.
And it’s just that simple.
The Horns are in Edmonton today to take on the Alberta Golden Bears in the sudden-death Canada West quarter-final at 2 p.m. with the winner advancing to the semifinal Sunday.
The 10-10 Pronghorns will be contending with the 19-1 Golden Bears for the fourth straight post-season.
“For us, it’s been about building that team unity throughout the season and it’s something we’ve accomplished,” said Pronghorns head coach James McKinnon. “Heading into this game it’s a one-game series and anything can happen. We’re just going to go out there and give it our all for 40 minutes and see how it goes.”
The Pronghorns advanced to the quarter-final with a 98-86 win over the Regina Cougars last Friday and head to Edmonton riding a seven-game winning streak.
Lethbridge and Alberta met in the first week of the Canada West regular season with the Bears winning both games 91-86 and 105-83.
The Golden Bears finished the regular season as the number-three scoring team in Canada and second in Canada West with 92.2 points per game. They also finished third in conference defence, allowing only 72.5 points against per game.
Alberta had five players average double digits this season but after returning from injury Brody Clarke led the Bears with 19.7 points per game. Clarke missed the first 14 conference games of the season.
Adam Paige and Ivan Ikomey finished second and third, respectively, in Bears scoring with 12.9 and 12.8 points per game.
The Pronghorns ran through a practice session upon arriving in Edmonton Friday.
“We came up here early to just get the travel out of the way and get a court to practice on and get the boys’ legs moving a bit more because of the earlier, 2 p.m. (today). We’ll let it all happen and see how it goes,” said McKinnon, adding the 2 p.m. start time will be an adjustment. “Obviously having one game last week, we were able to get that extra day of rest and pushing it to a Saturday game gives us that extra time as well. But the 2 p.m. game might be a bit awkward because we’re used to getting up and having our shootaround at that 2 p.m. time. So I’m hoping the boys are up and ready to go.”
The winner of Saturday’s quarter-final will play the winner of Manitoba and Victoria in Sunday’s semifinal. The winner of the semifinal will play the winner from the semifinal hosted in Calgary, with the single-game Canada West championship game being hosted by the highest remaining seed next weekend.
Follow @DWoodardHerald on Twitter