Griffins hang with Dinos for first 35 minutes before third-quarter lapse costs them in 89-65 loss

Dami Osuma had a strong presence for the Griffins on Saturday (Robert Antoniuk photo).
Dami Osuma had a strong presence for the Griffins on Saturday (Robert Antoniuk photo).

MacEwan Athletics

-With files from Dinos Athletics

CALGARY – Fixing an issue that's ailed them for much of the season, the Griffins men's basketball team got off a solid start on Saturday, playing nearly even with the Calgary Dinos through the first 25 minutes.

But the Dinos went on a 20-6 run in the last half of the third quarter to take control and rolled to an 89-65 win in Canada West men's basketball action.

The result drops the Griffins to 0-6, while the Dinos improve to 4-2 on the season.

"We had a good start," said Griffins head coach Mike Connolly. "In the third quarter, we let down defensively and it went from a two-point game to 18 points, and it was over."

The Griffins mounted their strongest opposition early in the third quarter on the back of Damilola Osuma. The second-year forward put multiple Dinos in foul trouble by relentlessly attacking the rim, scoring 10 points on the evening and cutting the lead down to just 43-41 with 6:57 left in the third before taking a breather.

Calgary immediately went on a 17-4 run with Osuma out of the game for the Griffins. During that run, Aidan Smith set the house on fire offensively, netting 15 of his game-high 26 points in the third quarter that finished with Calgary leading 71-52, connecting on a blistering 68.8-percent (11-16) of their shots during that frame.

The hot shooting would continue into the fourth, where the Dinos would stretch the lead all the way to 32 before a fire alarm went off, causing a 20-minute delay before the two teams returned to finish this one out.

"We played well except for five minutes in the third quarter," said Connolly. "We gave up too many open threes."

Besides Smith's 26 points for Calgary, Ezeoha Santiago added 16 points and six rebounds, while Jackson Bayles chipped in 14 and Alan Spoonhunter had 11 points and eight boards.

Matthew Osunde led the Griffins with 12 points and six rebounds, while Isaiah Merk had 11 points and Osuma chipped in 10 points and six boards.

"Dami had a good game, scoring inside and was a presence," said Connolly.

Next up for the Griffins is a home weekend series vs. Winnipeg on Nov. 25-26.