WINNIPEG – The ball didn't break the Griffins' way in the waning moments of a Canada West men's basketball barnburner on Friday night and they ended up falling 80-75 to the Manitoba Bisons.
MacEwan showed some resolve in rallying from a seven point third quarter deficit in the final frame and had the game tied 75-75 with just 1:13 remaining.
"We ended up being down 77-75 and had a tough call not go our way," said Griffins head coach Eric Magdanz. "It just sort of ended up spiraling from there and we lost by five.
"Credit to them," he added. "They got themselves in good positions and won the post battle for a couple possessions to get them some good looks down the stretch. I thought we battled hard, but just came up a little short."
Two late steals by Manitoba and a couple trips to the free-throw line in the dying seconds sealed the win for the Bisons, who were led by a 31-point performance from James Wagner, while Justus Alleyn chipped in 17.
MacEwan was paced by third-year point guard Adonis Monfort-Palomino, who had his second double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while adding four assists. Ali Raza also had a nice night with 19 points and eight boards, and Dustin Gatzki chipped in 10 points.
"Great double-double from Adonis and I thought we also saw some great things out of Ali Raza, being aggressive," said Magdanz. "We sort of found a fifth starter in Dustin Gatzki, who played 21 minutes and was really good in breaking their zone. There were some definite positives to take from this."
Manitoba (4-1) and MacEwan (1-4) will meet again on Saturday night (6 p.m. MT, Canada West TV).