Kilbreath leads Griffins with a game-high 19 points in rematch against Pandas

Noelle Kilbreath led the Griffins with 19 points on Saturday against Alberta (Robert Antoniuk photo).
Noelle Kilbreath led the Griffins with 19 points on Saturday against Alberta (Robert Antoniuk photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics 

EDMONTON – With Noelle Kilbreath looking a bit like the Noelle Kilbreath of old, the MacEwan Griffins rebounded with a respectable effort against U SPORTS No. 3 Alberta in Canada West women's basketball action on Saturday at the Saville Centre. 

Battling injuries over the past year, Kilbreath has been in and out of the lineup, working to recapture the form that made her one of the conference's top scorers in previous seasons. On Saturday, she led all players with 19 points – including three three-pointers.

"It's been a challenge having her in and out of the lineup, so it's so exciting to see her back at it," said Griffins head coach Katherine Adams. "She's still finding her rhythm a little bit, but we're definitely seeing some glimpses of the great things she's able to do."

It certainly wasn't perfect as Kilbreath also had eight of MacEwan's 39 turnovers, but her efforts had the Griffins in the game a night after they were dominated badly by the Pandas in a 72-36 loss. 

"I'm really, really proud of how the girls came out and responded today, how hard they competed," said Adams. "They really put forth an impressive effort.

"That's a top-three team in the country. The scoreboard might have showed a 25-point loss, but it certainly didn't feel like that in the run of play. There's a lot for us to be proud of and some really good things to walk away with."

And some things to work on, of course. The turnovers continue to prove costly for a Griffins team that's now 0-10 in the standings.

"It's an area we're continually trying to work on," said Adams. "When you look at some of the numbers, we actually shot a higher percentage than Alberta did today (45.2 to 36.9), which is a really good thing because when we're getting shots, we're getting quality shots and we're converting on them. 

"We just need to shoot more. I think they ended up with 23 more shot attempts than we did, and they got to the free-throw line a lot more."

Alberta was led by Claire Signatovich, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Complementing Kilbreath's strong effort, MacEwan also got nine points from Toni Gordon.

Next up for the Griffins is a home series vs. Brandon on Jan. 12-13.