Solid effort from Griffins comes up short to previously nationally-ranked Wesmen

Thai Haak scored 10 points for the Griffins on Friday (David Larkins photo).
Thai Haak scored 10 points for the Griffins on Friday (David Larkins photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

WINNIPEG, Man. – Effort was solid for the MacEwan Griffins men's basketball team even if the scoreboard didn't go their way in a 93-63 loss to the Winnipeg Wesmen on Friday night.

"We liked the effort," said Griffins head coach Mike Connolly. "We had more good than bad. But when we were bad, we made mistakes that they scored on."

Most notably, the Wesmen won the rebounding battle (44-28) and also had 18 offensive boards to MacEwan's seven. They also got to the line more than twice as much as the Griffins did.

"We were down 21 at the half and we weren't playing poorly, but every mistake we made, they scored," said Connolly. "We played not bad – lost the second half by nine."

With the result, the Griffins fall to 0-15 on the season, while Winnipeg improves to 10-5.

Winnipeg's Mikhail Mikhailov was tough to handle with 30 points and nine rebounds, while Shawn Maranan had a double double with 15 points and 13 boards.

Three Griffins finished in double figures for points as Milan Jaksic (12 points), Matthew Osunde (11) and Thai Haak (10) paced the squad. 

Connolly was impressed with several youngsters on the Griffins as they battled a team that only recently dropped out of the top-10 rankings in the country.

"We had some good moments from young guys," he said. "Dele (Osuma) played well defensively and had some positive shots. Daniel (Garner) came in and gave us good minutes. Joel Seke was good all-around with six points and five rebounds."

The teams will meet again on Saturday (4 p.m. MT, Canada West TV).

"We need to put in more effort on offensive boards tomorrow and contain defensive rebounds," said Connolly.