Oct. 26, 2019 – The Kodiaks opened their second home game of the season looking to steal a big win from the undefeated St. Mary's Lightning.
Kirsten Barwegen put the Kodiaks on the scoreboard early with a stand-out offensive performance, but the Lightning were ready for them, matching point-for-point. Ultimately the Kodiaks were able to hold onto the lead for a score of 16-14 to close out the first quarter.
The second quarter saw the Kodiaks picking up steam and pulling ahead early with a series of points from Denajha Kie, an impressive addition to the Kodiaks team for the 2019-20 season. Mid-way through the quarter the Kodiaks forced a Lightning time-out after stealing the lead 30-14. The Lightning regrouped quickly to close the gap, but the Kodiaks held on to a 43-37 lead heading into the second half, aided by Karli McLachlan's leadership on the court with a series of 3-pointers.
A defensive battle led to a slow start to the third quarter, but the Lightning held steady pressure on the Kodiaks and came back within 2 points, forcing a Kodiaks time-out. First year Natalie Hoyt showed up for the Kodiaks offense, leading her team in points mid-way through the quarter and showing off her skill from the 3-point line. While the Lightning saw a shift in momentum guided by the offense of Emily Wagner and former Kodiak Madi Gladstone, the shit was not enough to overcome the Kodiaks, who held a 65-52 lead heading into the final quarter.
The first half of the fourth quarter moved slowly with a series of missed shots from both teams, but fouls on Lightning players Madi Gladstone and Juhee Anderson reignited the momentum for the Kodiaks. Denajha Kie continued to show her skill for the Kodiaks as she lit up the court offensively, but the Kodiaks nerves began to show in the final minutes of the game, allowing the Lightning to tighten the score once more. In a suspenseful end to the game, the Kodiaks claimed an 83-73 victory to give the Lightning their first loss of the season.
With this victory the Kodiaks advance their record to 2-1, while the STMU Lightning's record drops to 3-1. The Kodiaks return to home territory November 2, 2019 to take on the Ambrose Lions.
Players of the Game:
St. Mary's University – #14 Emily Wagner
Lethbridge College – #12 Karli McLachlan