The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack rallied from a 20 point first half deficit but fell short to the visiting MacEwan University Griffins 90-85. The teams played in Canada West men’s basketball action on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre on Saturday night (Nov 21).
The defeat was the WolfPack’s first in six starts. MacEwan moves to 2-4 on the year
“I guess it was a bit positive,” Thompson Rivers coach Scott Clark said about his team’s clawing back from the huge deficit. “I think the real positive is that we can learn from this. We should be thankful that we played this game and it worked out this way from the standpoint that you learn something and you change your behavior, it is valuable. If you don’t it will not be very valuable. We came out with not enough effort. That is something each of the players have to take inventory of.”
MacEwan led by two (28-26) after the first quarter but then outscored TRU 28-10 in the second quarter to go into the dressing room at half up 56-36.
“The big thing we talked about at half was our response,” said MacEwan head coach Eric Magdanz. “We came out of half and really let TRU take it to us. It was an opportunity to show what kind of character we have and what kind of team we want to be this year. To TRU’s credit, they came back with a really big run and kept pushing in the second half. I am proud of my guys for continuing to fight.”
But TRU rallied in the third quarter out gunning the Griffins 27-13 and cutting the margin to 3 (69-63). The WolfPack had climbed to within a point deficit during the fourth quarter.
MacEwan had six players in double figures. Denzel James (4th year, wing, Edmonton, AB) had 18 points. Ryan May (5th year, forward, Daysland, AB) contributed 17.
Other double digit scorers were Thomas Jereniuk (4th year, guard, Stony Plain, AB) and Keith Gerdes (4th year, forward, Edmonton, AB) with 12 points apiece. Thadius Galvez (3rd year, guard, Ogden, UT) and Harrison Lane (2nd year, forward, Edmonton, AB) each potted 10.
“I think we had a lot of players standing out today, “ Magdanz said. I think Harrison Lane stood out. He has struggled for us a bit this year. He has had smaller minutes but he came in and gave us some tough rebounds and did a great job on their ‘bigs’ and scored some for us. He came up big for us tonight.”
The WolfPack were led by Volodymyr Iegorov (4th year, forward, Donetsk, Ukraine). He had 25 points. Iegorov was named the “TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack” player of the game.
Josh Wolfram (5th year, forward, Kamloops, BC) had 21 points. Reese Pribilsky (5th year, guard, Victoria, BC) added 19 while Luke Morris (3rd year, forward, Mission, BC) had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
“MacEwan showed some moxie and played hard and full value to them for the victory, “Clark added.
When asked if they did anything special to curtail Iegorov, Wolfram and Pribilsky, Magdanz stated “They are great players. Likely the best three players on any team in the country. We knew we had to place special attention on them. We had to make sure where our help was at all time. What I thought we did well today was talking behind them so whoever was guarding them was confident they knew where they could get help knowing they had a whole team behind them.”
The WolfPack continue their home stand with a series against the University of Fraser Valley Cascades next weekend (Nov 27-28). The Griffins entertain the UBCO Heat next weekend.
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