Griffins will use the break for a reset after closing out first semester with a rough defeat

Maggie Smith led the Griffins with six points against UBC on Saturday (Eduardo Perez photo).
Maggie Smith led the Griffins with six points against UBC on Saturday (Eduardo Perez photo).

Jason Hills 
For MacEwan Athletics 
EDMONTON – With a very young roster, the MacEwan Griffins are certainly going to experience some growing pains, but this one no doubt hurts. 

MacEwan's offence struggled mightily, recording their lowest output in program history in an 88-26 loss to the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday afternoon at the David Atkinson Gym. 

Maggie Smith led the Griffins with six points and two rebounds, while Toki Tsuzuki had five points and three assists in the loss. 

MacEwan shot just 20.8% overall and were just 1-for-17 (5.9%) from beyond the arc. 

UBC's Mona Berlitz (16 points 11 rebounds) and Olivia Weeks (10 points and 13 rebounds) recorded double-doubles for the T-Birds, who improved to 8-2, while the Griffins fell to 0-8. 

"I just think we didn't compete. I think part of the learning process for us and where we're at is learning what that looks like at this level, and we got out competed in all aspects of the game," said Griffins head coach Katherine Adams. 

"We weren't anywhere near good enough today. This isn't the brand of basketball we want to play. There needs to be a lot of reflection and reset and make sure we don't feel this way again." 

Maybe the hard reset that comes with a semester break is needed for the Griffins who no doubt faced a tough test this weekend against UBC, but for a second-straight game they committed far too many turnovers (30) and gave up 20 offensive rebounds in the loss. 

Without their captain and leading scorer Noelle Kilbreath for a second-straight game, the Griffins tried to get their offence going, but with so much inexperience against a real strong UBC team, it was tough to come by. 

"I think that our offensive struggles came from not knowing how to react when they put on pressure, and for us to be forced to make decisions at a rapid pace," said Griffins guard Julie Dueck. "That comes with time, and we're going to get there, but the growing pains showed in that area today."  

It was a tough first half of the 2023-24 season, as the Griffins went 0-8. There have been a lot of tough lessons learned through the first few months of the season, but the key for MacEwan will be to take those lessons learned and grow from it. 

"The thing that I think is most important is we have to continue to build that belief that we can compete at this level, and it was a tough go today, and there were moments where confidence was wavering," said Adams. 
"Maybe the break is coming at a good time for us, but we have to take these lessons and do a reset and prepare ourselves to finish the second half of the season strong." 

With seven new players on their roster, it's been a steep learning curve for the Griffins young squad. While they've had some tough defeats, they're sticking together and are committed to improving. 

"It takes time to build those connections and help our offence flow and know how to respond with each other when adversity comes," said Dueck. "We're all growing together, and this is an opportunity for growth. We will improve, and I believe in our teammates, and it will show, but right now we're working through some things right now." 

MacEwan will now be off for the Christmas break and will return to the court on Jan.5-6 when they battle their cross-town rivals, the Alberta Pandas at the Saville Community Sports Centre.