Plenty of solid play for Griffins to build off of in loss to Winnipeg

Job Janda finished with 12 points for the Griffins on Saturday night (David Larkins photo).
Job Janda finished with 12 points for the Griffins on Saturday night (David Larkins photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics 

WINNIPEG, Man. – Outplaying the formerly nationally-ranked Winnipeg Wesmen in the second quarter, the Griffins men's basketball team was within four points of them at the half.

But when Winnipeg hit the gas in the third quarter, using a 12-2 run to go up 18, MacEwan was left behind, eventually losing 87-63 on Saturday night.

"We had a good effort tonight," said MacEwan head coach Mike Connolly. "It was a four-point game at the half, then in the middle of the third, they went on a run, and we couldn't recover. Good effort and team play tonight, but we still had issues on the boards, giving up 10 offensive rebounds in the second half .

"There were definitely lots of positives for 35 minutes. We just can't have five minutes of breakdowns."

With the result, MacEwan falls to 0-16 in the Canada West standings, while Winnipeg improves to 11-5.

Mikhail Mikhailov led the Wesmen with 25 points, while Shawn Maranan had 11 points and 11 rebounds, Alberto Gordo added 11 points and Elijah Mensah had 10.

MacEwan had three players in double digits, led by Milan Jaksic with 15 points, Joel Seke with 13 and Job Janda with 12.

"Job and Milan stepped up from Friday night," said Connolly. "Joel had another good game for a first-year kid. Again, I thought our bench stepped up and contributed."

The Griffins will have plenty of building blocks to take forward out of the game, especially after playing right with the Wesmen, especially in the first half. 

"We played together on defence and offensively had great efforts and intensity all game," said Connolly. "We can build on this. It proves playing together and being vested in each other makes a difference."

MacEwan is back on the road next weekend as they travel to Kelowna, B.C. to face UBC Okanagan.