Red Deer, AB – After the RDC Kings and St. Mary's University Lightning were tied 37-37 at the half, the Lightning scored 43 points in the final two quarters, sealing an 80-72 win at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.
The first quarter was even 15-15 until the RDC Kings went on a 7-0 run. During that stretch, Spencer Klassen drained a three-pointer and a field goal, and Khurram Sultan was perfect on a pair of free-throws to provide the Kings a 22-15 edge.
The Red Deer College Kings pulled ahead by nine (29-20) in the second quarter but the Lightning didn't relent. St. Mary's University outscored RDC 14-6 to climb ahead 34-33. In a back-and-forth finish, Klassen sank a late basket, evening the score 37-37 at the half.
In the third, Cordell Minifree provided St. Mary's a four point edge (45-41). Eric Bakker and Ramiro Martinez Quintanilla Jimenez connected from the field for the Kings but the Lightning took advantage of their offensive opportunities, going up by 13 (62-49).
Klassen started to heat up in the final quarter, dropping three consecutive buckets from the field to bring the Kings within eight (64-56). Shortly after, Minnifree responded for St. Mary's from behind the arc (69-58). Anthony Harper, Malik Smith and Kevin Szymanek helped bring RDC within five (71-66) but the Lightning capped off an 80-72 road win.
Spencer Klassen was selected as the Kings Player-of-the-Game while Ryan Tod received the honour for the Lightning. Klassen, a Bachelor of Education student, totaled 26 points, 5 steals and 6 rebounds. Tod played with energy and contributed 8 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals while going six-for-six from the free-throw line.
As a team, the Kings sank 33 per cent of their attempts from the field, 7.7 per cent from behind the three-point arc and 53.3 per cent from the free-throw line. The Lightning shot 40.3, 34.8 and 81.8 per cent respectively.
The RDC Kings (4-5) will look to get back into the win column as they travel to Calgary on Saturday to take on the Lightning (2-7) at 8:00 p.m.