Turnovers prove costly for young Griffins in 97-69 loss to Cougars

Milan Jaksic drives around a MRU defender on Saturday (Ellery Platts photo).
Milan Jaksic drives around a MRU defender on Saturday (Ellery Platts photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

-With files from MRU Athletics

CALGARY – The growing pains continued for the young MacEwan Griffins as they suffered a 97-69 setback at the hands of the Mount Royal University Cougars on Saturday for their fourth-straight loss to start the Canada West men's basketball season.

"Turnovers killed us," said Griffins head coach Mike Connolly. "They scored 27 points on 22 turnovers."

MRU went on a late first half 10-0 run that pushed their lead to 48-31 and they held court the rest of the way, winning the third quarter by seven points and the fourth by four.

"We had a better compete level and we did a better job on boards," said Connolly of improvements made over Friday's 87-58 loss to MRU. "But youthful mistakes led to easy baskets for them."

Taylor Cook led the Griffins with 12 points and seven rebounds in just 19 minutes on the court, while Scottie Austin had 10 points and five boards.

Cook, who was named player of the game for the Griffins, hit a four-point play in the fourth quarter, bringing a new spark to the squad, but it still wasn't enough to put a dent in MRU's lead. 

MRU had four players in double digits: Holt Tomie with 19 points, Nelson Ijah with 17, Daniel Mulder with 16 and Keivonte Watts with 14, while Mawien Mawien led the team with 11 rebounds.

The Griffins are now 0-4 on the season, while MRU improves to 3-1.

MacEwan returns to Calgary next weekend for a pair of matches against the Dinos (Friday, 8 p.m. and Saturday, 6 p.m., both Canada West TV).

"We now need to work on our decision making moving forward," said Connolly.