CALGARY – Losing a defensive rebound after a missed free throw with eight seconds left sealed the MacEwan Griffins' fate in a tight 50-46 loss to the University of Calgary Dinos in Canada West women's basketball action on Friday night.
Trailing by two, they would have had a chance at another heroic winning shot like when they beat the Dinos on a buzzer-beating three Nov. 12, but it wasn't meant to be this time.
"Calgary battled hard and won that possession and it sealed the deal for them," said MacEwan head coach Katherine Adams. "That's a great learning opportunity for us. Being in those close end-game situations is something we don't have a lot of experience with, so … hopefully we can learn and grow from it moving forward."
The Griffins actually battled back to take a 46-45 lead on Shannon Majeau's jumper with 1:01 remaining, but Amélie Collin nailed a three-pointer with 39 seconds remaining to put the Dinos up by two.
The Griffins caught a break with nine seconds remaining when Collin missed both free throws, but Mya Proctor came up with the board on the second one, was fouled and hit both her shots to seal the contest.
With the result, the Dinos improve to 6-3, while MacEwan falls to 1-7.
Proctor paced the Dinos with 14, while Annacy Palmer chipped in 11.
Neither team shot the ball well as the rust from long layoffs due to postponements was apparent. The Griffins hadn't played since Jan. 14 and shot 24.6 per cent, while the Dinos, off since Jan. 15 shot 32.1.
"I think that was evidence of the situation teams are dealing with right now – some unfortunate injury situations, some COVID situations where teams haven't been able to practice with full participation," said Adams.
"With people in and out, you just don't get the same fluidity and same game-like repetition that maybe you would like heading into competition and with both teams having last weekend off, I think you could kind of see … it took us a quarter-and-a-half to shake the rust off."
The biggest negative byproduct of that for the Griffins was turnovers. They had 27 in the game, but 18 of those were in a foggy first half when they were trying to find their way.
"They capitalized on that," said Adams. "It took us out of rhythm a little bit and it took us a half to get into a little bit of a flow."
The teams will meet again on Saturday (5 p.m., Canada West TV presented by Co-op).
"We kind of got that game out of the way, if you will, and we'll learn from it what we can," said Adams. "Tomorrow we'll be in a much better position to compete and hopefully knock down a few more shots and find our rhythm and flow."