June 24th, 2024

Quality performance powers Pronghorns

By Dale Woodard on January 25, 2022.

It was more about quality than sheer quantity for the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s basketball team.

The Horns tacked on their sixth straight win and earned a weekend sweep after a 96-62 win over the Mount Royal College Cougars in Canada West play Saturday night at the 1st Choice Savings Centre.

The Pronghorns men’s team settled for a weekend split after a 79-72 loss to the Cougars that puts the Horns at 4-6 and fourth in the Canada West Central Division.

On the women’s side, the win improves the Pronghorns to 6-4, good for second place in the Central Division.

Though they put up 96 points – led by Amy Muzutinec, who poured in 29 – head coach Dave Waknuk noted something a little more important than just sheer offence.

“I think what we’re really preaching is quality of play,” he said. “I felt like, more times than not, we had some great, quality possessions, defensively and offensively. I think this was one of our best, all-around performances. The fact we scored 96 (points), I’m happy with that. But we also defended well. (Friday) night we felt like we just couldn’t break through. (Saturday), we broke through and maintained it and I think that’s a good sign of a team going forward and our team going forward with what we need to be successful.”

Savannah McMahon had 14 points for Lethbridge and Millay Johnson and Jessica Haenni added 13 and 12, respectively.

Mazutinec and Hailey Weaver each had four steals.

“Amy has been such a big part of Pronghorns’ basketball for all the time I’ve been here and to see her starting to hit her stride, she is our X factor for where our success is going to be,” said Waknuk. “She’s that player who is so consistent, plays both ends and has the skill set that very few other players do in the league. She’s shooting the three-ball well and to see some of these performances she’s having in the last couple of games is a great sign for us going forward.”

In the men’s game, the Pronghorns nearly played some comeback ball in the fourth quarter, pulling within one, but the Cougars hit some clutch buckets late to pull away to earn the win and the split.

“(It was a) slow start and I’ve been preaching to them that this is a 40-minute game and if you really want to be a good team you have to be consistent for 40 minutes,” said Pronghorns head coach Jermaine Small. “You saw the offence at the beginning, both teams weren’t scoring and I felt their better players stepped up in the clutch and ours had a tough night shooting.”

Shae Gibb paced the Pronghorns with 15 points, while Chad Oviatt and Angelo Mbituyimana each had 14.

Jeff Rodehutskors added 10 for Lethbridge.

“It’s really hard to get rhythm when there are so many fouls being called,” said Small. “But nonetheless, I thought we had opportunities to win and we didn’t come through in the clutch.

“I think there’s lots to learn from this, as a team and individually, there’s a lot of good tape,” said Small. “I have confidence our guys will bounce back. Right now I think we’re one of those teams that can beat anybody, but we can be beaten any night. I think that’s what happened tonight.”

The Pronghorns get the coming week off and then head to Edmonton to face the MacEwan Griffins Feb. 4-5.

The Pronghorns named three inductees to their Hall of Fame Saturday night. See this week’s issues of the Herald for the stories.

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