Jan. 12, 2018 – The Lethbridge College Kodiaks were unable to find their shooting touch coming out of the semester break, suffering a 96-88 defeat to the Red Deer College Kings on Friday night.
In the first conference game of 2018 for both teams, it was the Kings who pushed the pace and forced the Kodiaks to play catch-up for most of the night.
In what became an emotionally charged game with over sixty fouls, the Kings shot 50% from the field while the Kodiaks limped to a field goal percentage of 35%.
After the teams traded buckets to open the game, Red Deer opened a lead with a 10-2 run to end the first quarter, and led by six at half.
The Kodiaks mounted a furious rally late in the third quarter and were able to take a brief one point lead, much to the delight of a sizable crowd at Val Matteotti Gymnasium.
Unfortunately for the Kodiaks, the game fell apart in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Kings started the final frame by hitting their first five shots, quickly going on a 12-2 run to open an 85-74 lead.
Red Deer still gave Lethbridge every opportunity to make a comeback. The Kings committed six turnovers in the final six minutes, but stone-cold shooting kept the Kodiaks from taking advantage. Lethbridge went just 1-10 from beyond the arc in the final frame.
Spoiling the debut
The Kings spoiled the debut of a new-look Kodiaks lineup. Grady Taylor, Colten Murray and Tom Johnson all played their first game of the season for Lethbridge after joining the Kodiaks over the semester break.
Taylor was phenomenal in his season debut, showing no rust while leading the Kodiaks offense with 26 points. Murray was solid off the bench in his first outing, scoring 15 points and adding nine rebounds.
For Red Deer, it was Omon Edobar who led the way. The first-year guard from Calgary, AB played all 40 minutes and dropped 25 points.
The Kings benefitted from a balanced scoring approach. Darien Valdes and Dshawn Tyrell hit for 20 points each, while Solon Ellis had a double-double coming off the bench, knocking in ten points and adding ten rebounds.
With the win the Kings secured a victory in the season series. Red Deer was victorious in the first meeting of the season back on Nov. 18, when they took down Lethbridge 97-90 at home.
The teams are now tied for fourth in the ACAC south division standings, each sitting with a 4-4 record.
Right back at it
The Kodiaks will now look to salvage a split of the weekend series when the teams meet again on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.
Players of the Game:
Kings - #5 Omon Edobar
Kodiaks - #9 Grady Taylor