The Winnipeg Wesmen watched the Lethbridge Pronghorns go to the free-throw line 26 times to their four, but still led almost wire to wire in a clash between two of the highest-scoring teams in the country.
Sean Tarver had a game-high 25 points and seven rebounds as the Wesmen moved to 6-3 and temporarily into third place in the Canada West. Lethbridge, which averaged 105.8 points per game in its first four conference games and is tied with Ryerson for highest points per game in the country, dropped to 4-3.
Winnipeg has been no slouch scoring the ball either.
The Wesmen are second in U Sports in points per game (91.4) and on Friday night never trailed by more than five points.
Five players scored in double figures for U of W with Joseph Medrano dropping 13 and Narcisse Ambanza also adding 13 to go along with seven assists and five rebounds. Spas Nikolov continued to provide an inside presence with 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting and seven rebounds, and Billy Yaworsky added 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Winnipeg shot 10-for-25 from three and held the Pronghorns to 35.4 per cent shooting on the night.
Lethbridge took a 21-18 lead out of the first quarter, but the Wesmen made consistent plays in the second quarter, holding the Pronghorns without a point for the final 2:16 of the first quarter and first 1:05 of the second. The Wesmen went on a 10-2 run to go up 30-25 and held a 41-38 advantage going into halftime.
The Wesmen lead hovered around two points for much of the third quarter and after Awak Piom made a jumper to cut the U of W lead to 63-60 with 38 seconds to go in the third, Winnipeg put together a 7-0 run that gave the Wesmen their first double-digit lead at 70-60 1:46 into the fourth.
The Pronghorns, however, had another run in them. After Joseph Medrano hit a three with 5:39 to go, the Pronghorns went on a 7-0 run to cut Winnipeg's lead to 75-74 with 3:56 to play. The Wesmen, however, were able to get a bucket from Spas Nikolov and a three from Medrano to push the lead back to six.
Lethbridge got no closer than three the rest of the way.
Piom had 20 points off the bench to lead Lethbridge, while Zac Overwater added 14. Mike Pierzchala added 13 and Colton Gibb 11.