Sandman Player of the Month: Kilbreath broke long-standing program record with 39-point effort

Sandman Player of the Month: Kilbreath broke long-standing program record with 39-point effort

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – In a month that included breaking a program record that had stood for nearly 10 years, Noelle Kilbreath elevated her game for the Griffins women's basketball team and has been named the Sandman Player of the Month for January.

The Calgary product earns a free night's stay at the Sandman Signature Downtown Edmonton hotel.

Kilbreath scored 39 points on Jan. 14 against Brandon, breaking the record for the most in a Canada West game by a Griffin that was originally set by Megan Wood, when she had 34 points on Nov. 21, 2014, and matched by Kendall Lydon, who had 34 on Feb. 4, 2017.

"Anytime anybody can put 39 points on the scoreboard it's a pretty impressive performance," said Griffins women's basketball head coach Katherine Adams. "She did it in a lot of different ways. It's a true testament to the talent that she is and what she's brought to this program over her four/five (with the COVID season of 2020-21) years here."

Kilbreath averaged 17.38 points per game in the month of January for the Griffins, accounting for 36.39 per cent of MacEwan's scoring over that time.

Among her highlights was a clutch performance on Jan. 13 against Brandon when she hit the game-winning three-pointer with 9.3 seconds left to lift MacEwan to its first win of the season.

For her efforts that Jan. 13-14 weekend, she was named Canada West women's basketball player of the week.

"I think the time off just was good for her to just make sure she was healthy and ready to come in and compete and not be hesitant," said Adams of Kilbreath, who missed the team's final five games of the first semester with an injury. "I think that she really came out (in January) and (offered) glimpses of the Noelle we've seen for the last couple of years here. She was playing fearless again."

It wasn't just her scoring that set the bar for the Griffins, but Kilbreath was also key in other ways, as evidenced by recording her second career double double last Friday in Winnipeg with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

"She's such a key part of what we do and contributes in so many ways," said Adams. "Obviously, her scoring stands out because she's top of the stats sheets a lot of days. But she had a double double, and you look at her number of steals and assists, as well. She finds a lot of ways to contribute, so it's really exciting for her to get this honour."

This is the second career Sandman Player of the Month award for Kilbreath, who also won the honour in January 2022.

The Griffins hit the road this weekend for matches at UBC Okanagan (Friday, 6 p.m. MT and Saturday, 5 p.m. MT, Canada West TV).