Griffins unable to sustain first-half lead as Dinos rally to beat them 80-54

Noelle Kilbreath, seen in action against UFV earlier this season, led the Griffins with 17 points on Saturday night (Robert Antoniuk photo).
Noelle Kilbreath, seen in action against UFV earlier this season, led the Griffins with 17 points on Saturday night (Robert Antoniuk photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

CALGARY – For a half, the Griffins women's basketball team had things rolling against the Calgary Dinos.

Unfortunately, they couldn't build on a 36-31 lead after 20 minutes, wilting under intense second-half Dinos' defensive pressure as the home team roared back and slammed the door in an 80-54 victory.

"I don't think the score-line was necessarily indicative of the play," said MacEwan head coach Katherine Adams. "We were up at the half and the margin is big enough that you might not think it was a competitive game, but our girls fought and battled. 

"Unfortunately, we just didn't hit shots and they capitalized on that."

The Griffins mustered only five fourth-quarter points as, similar to Friday's game script, they ran out of gas.

"In the first half, we just did a good job of moving the ball and finding open players, kind of taking advantage of what the defence gave us," said Adams. "We weren't thinking too much and were just playing. Our defence kept us in there. Calgary scores the ball well, so for us to hold them to 31 points, we did a great job with that. 

"The second half, I think, they capitalized a little bit on some of our communication errors. We just kind of ran out of steam again."

In the end, the most glaring stat is the Griffins had 26 turnovers to the Dinos' 9.
"In the second half, as their defensive intensity increased, we got a little bit more intense and started thinking too much instead of just taking what the defence gave us," said Adams. "That led to some of those turnovers. And those turnovers led to easy shot attempts for them at the other end. 

"It makes it a lot more difficult when they're scoring and you have to attack and pressure possession after possession instead of getting stops and being able to push off the rebounds."

Calgary had five players in double digits for points as Louise Rouse had 15 and Annacy Palmer, Amelie Collin, Pollyanna Storie and Madison Landry all had 10 points apiece. 

Noelle Kilbreath led the Griffins with 17 points, while Mackenzie Farmer chipped in 12 while wearing a face-mask to protect her visage after taking a hard hit on Friday.

"I think our team is full of warriors," said Adams. "They feel a little banged and bruised and beaten up, but they carry on. Mackenzie's a great example of it where she took a hit in the face yesterday and today she took a hit early and we got the face mask. She carried on and continued playing."
Next up for the Griffins is a pair of home games vs. Winnipeg on Nov. 25-26.