Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – Both teams' offensive attacks dried up like the Sahara for lengthy periods of time, but it was the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack who eventually found water and a victory, defeating the MacEwan Griffins 59-48 in Canada West women's basketball action on Friday night.
Jordon Haggerty led the visitors with 13 points, while Brooklyn Golt had 11 and Megan Rouault chipped in 10 as the WolfPack improved to 4-1 in the standings. MacEwan falls to 1-4.
"It's not just this game. Every game we've had some periods of the game where we can't score," said TRU head coach Goran Nogic, whose team went nearly eight minutes in the third quarter without finding paydirt. "There is less experience and less focus in those moments.
"Normally what we're looking for is to create some offence for our best players. When we notice the other team is in the bonus, we are looking to get to the free throw line."
That they did as the WolfPack knocked down 21 of 25 from the charity stripe, including Haggerty going 13-for-14. But TRU more won the game because the Griffins couldn't score. Stone cold from everywhere, MacEwan shot just 22.8 per cent in the contest.
"I think the ball not going in is indicative of the shots that we took," said MacEwan head coach Katherine Adams. "We just played panicked and rushed today. We didn't put ourselves in the best positions to score.
"Of course, credit to Thompson Rivers and their defence and putting us in that position to take contested shots. It's not what we've designed to do. I think we know that we can generate better opportunities."
Shannon Majeau and Darian Mahmi led the Griffins with 11 points each, but MacEwan's offence only scored 14 points in the final 15 minutes, most of those in the final two minutes when the WolfPack put their backups in after building a 19-point advantage.
"There was no flow," said Adams. "We didn't allow ourselves to get into a flow at the offensive end. Part of that's difficult when there's so many free throws. It's tough to get into a flow, but that's our own fault and our own discipline and just being ready to play and compete."
After MacEwan had some early success getting the ball down low, which led to a 19-point first quarter for the home side, TRU took that option away, plugging up the middle, tipping passes and turning the Griffins' offensive attack to stone.
"If you put Mackenzie (Farmer) on seven points, you have a chance to win," said Nogic. "She's a great player, so to do that, you really have to work hard and not just one player, one defender – all the team. We also managed to make some alterations to the defence and I hope we manage to do even better tomorrow."
The teams will meet in the rematch on Saturday (5 p.m., David Atkinson Gym, Canada West TV presented by Co-op).