What a difference a year makes. Last season, the MacEwan University Griffins came into the Tournament Capital Centre and couldn’t come away with a victory.
This Canada West women’s basketball season it was the complete opposite. The Griffins captured both games with the hometown Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. On Saturday night (Nov 21) on the Warner Rentals court, the score was 75-60.
MacEwan moves to 5-1 on the year while TRU falls to 4-2.
“A real solid weekend for our team, “stated Griffins head coach Dave Oldham. “We came in with a game plan and the kids did a great job of executing it. They deserve all the credit. It was a solid effort for 80 minutes. Thompson Rivers came up with a great effort tonight. We were able to sustain the energy from last night to get another win.”
“This certainly wasn’t the weekend we were hoping for,” explained WolfPack assistant coach Chuck Ferguson. “We came out flat yesterday. Today we were good in first half but we seemed to run out of gas. Wish I could tell you what it was. We did the prep work this week and I thought we were ready to go. That didn’t translate into an on court result. Better effort tonight. I thought we were better on the glass and pushing the ball. We didn’t shoot well this weekend. We couldn’t get into any flow on our offense. In the end, those two things contributed to where we find ourselves.”
The result spoilt a brilliant first half performance by WolfPack second year guard Emma Piggin (Kamloops, BC). She had 20 points in the first half alone including a buzzer beater at the end of the first half to cut The Griffin’s lead to 38-35 at the time. Piggin wound up with 10 rebounds as well.
“Obviously when a player scores 20 points in the first half you want to put a little more focus on her,” Oldham said. “But you couldn’t just focus on Piggin because they have a number of other offensive weapons as well. We did some adjustments and at the same time they rounded out their attack looking for a balanced attack. She had a great game and credit to her for coming out and playing well.”
“Crazy first half,” Ferguson stated about Piggin’s performance. “She felt pretty bad about her effort on Friday. I think she came out focused. A double-double for her. A double double for Kassie (Colonna, 4th year, forward, Invermere, BC). Happy with the result on an individual basis. As far as our team performance though, we aren’t where we need to be.”
Colonna had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Michelle Bos (2nd year, guard, Surrey, BC) had 12 points.
Piggin was named the “TRU Bookstore/McDonalds Leader of the Pack” player of the game.”
The Griffins had five players in double figures led by Megan Wood who had 21 points.
Kelly O’Hallahan (5th year, guard, Ngatea, NZL) had 13 coming off the bench. “She was great for us,’ said Oldham. “ She just came back from an ACL injury two weeks ago. She injured it last year and this is her third weekend of play in almost a year. She is real solid. It was great to see her have a solid effort and will help with her confidence and for our team moving forward.
Kendall Lydon (4th year, guard, Chehalis, WA) had 12 points for the Griffins while Paige Knull (3rd year, guard, St.Albert, AB) added 11 points. Kelly Fagan (5th year, forward, St.Albert, AB) contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds (nine on defense) as well for MacEwan.
The WolfPack’s home stand continues next weekend (Nov 27-28) with the University of Fraser Valley Cascades coming to the Tournament Capital Centre.
“They are a well-coached team with a lot of good players,” Ferguson said when asked about the Cascades. “We will have to go back to the drawing board and do our homework. We will get our prep work done and come with a ‘game’ attitude.”
MacEwan will battle the UBCO Heat in Edmonton. “I anticipate another tough weekend, “Oldham explained. “ I will have to start thinking of them. You can’t think further than the next weekend in Canada West.”
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