MacEwan Athletics and Manitoba Athletics
WINNIPEG – Outscoring their opponent by 18 points down the stretch when it mattered most, the MacEwan Griffins captured their first win of the Canada West women's basketball season with a 70-56 triumph over the Manitoba Bisons on Friday night.
"In the fourth quarter, I would say we were pretty relentless in our attack and got to the rim," said Griffins head coach Katherine Adams, whose team improves to 1-4 on the campaign. "Defensively we sort of tightened things up a little bit and didn't allow them to generate the scores they were getting earlier."
Fourth-year guard Kayla Ivicak recorded her third double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds, adding a game-high four steals, while fifth-year guard Paige Knull scored 21 points and added four boards.
"Paige took two charges in the second half – those are momentum changers when you're able to do that," said Adams.
"Overall, I thought it was a really great team game. People found ways to contribute. Obviously, we see Kayla and Paige and Mackenzie (Farmer) are up there on the scoreboard, but I thought we got a lot from other people, as well. Our point guards came in and did a really great job being a floor general, getting us set in what we wanted and dictating the offence.
"Our rotation of forwards coming through rebounded really well and defended."
Farmer chipped in 13 points, while Kerilynn MacLennan had nine.
The Bisons were led by Taylor Randall's 17 points, while Nicole Konieczny had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"We just need five players to come ready to play," said Bisons head coach Michele Sung. "We're not very good at executing a game plan for 40 minutes yet."
Both teams were searching for their first win of the season (Manitoba falls to 0-5), but it was the Griffins who finally broke through with their young, emerging team.
"It's definitely exciting," said Adams. "I'm happy for them because they feel like their hard work's paying off. We've been close and we've felt like we're doing good things.
"Even today, we didn't shoot the ball particularly well. But we were getting good looks and having good opportunities. It was definitely a monkey off the back to get that first win of the season, but we're optimistic that we're continuing to grow and get better."
The teams will meet again on Saturday (4 p.m. MT, Canada West TV).