Foul trouble leads to big deficit which the Griffins were unable to erase in 84-68 loss to Heat

Marco Correas looks for an opening against the UBC Okanagan Heat on Friday (Krista Carlson photo).
Marco Correas looks for an opening against the UBC Okanagan Heat on Friday (Krista Carlson photo).

MacEwan Athletics

KELOWNA, B.C. – Early foul trouble on Friday added insult to injury for the Griffins men's basketball team, which was already down two starters who didn't make the weekend road trip – Justace Byam and Job Janda.

"Having foul trouble in the first half, we had to sit four of five starters with fouls or for (undisciplined) play," said Griffins head coach Mike Connolly.

That led to a giant deficit that was too large to climb out of even with an inspired fourth quarter as the Griffins fell 84-68 to the UBC Okanagan Heat.

"We got down 30 in the third quarter," lamented Connolly. "We were not playing well. 

"They killed us on offensive rebounds. They had 21 and combined with our 23 turnovers, it's hard to win."

With the result, the Griffins fall to 0-17 on the Canada West season, while UBCO improves to 5-12.

Jalen Shirley led the Heat with 27 points, while two UBCO players had double doubles – Hafith Moallin (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Jas Dhudwal (10 points, 17 boards).

MacEwan was led by Matthew Osunde, who narrowly missed a double double with 20 points and nine rebounds. Cornelius Glasgow chipped in a career-high 11 points and six rebounds off the bench.

"Matty led everyone with 20 points and nine rebounds," said Connolly. "Cornelius played well and was a presence inside all game, which is nice to see."

He noted it was actually some of the younger players on the team which stepped up big in a fourth-quarter that the Griffins could build off of.

"We did outscore them 23-9 to make it a 16-point game," said Connolly of the final 10 minutes. "The young guys at the end stepped up and brought us back."

The teams will meet again on Saturday (7 p.m. MT, Canada West TV).