MacEwan Athletics and Pronghorns Athletics
LETHBRIDGE – Turnovers continued to prove costly for the MacEwan Griffins women's basketball team as they suffered their third-straight defeat – a 78-54 setback to the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Friday night.
With 31 of them in just 40 minutes of basketball, the Griffins continue to hold worst turnover average in the Canada West conference by a longshot (27.3 a game).
"The story of the game, I think, again we had 31 turnovers, which is always going to be highlighted for us," said MacEwan head coach Katherine Adams, whose team gave up 28 and 23 in two season-opening losses to Alberta last weekend. "We give possessions away.
"Even with that, we got to the free-throw line a number of times. (Lethbridge) shot the ball better, they made more shots, outrebounded us a bit, but ultimately, we turned it over."
The Griffins got to the charity stripe as much as the Pronghorns (16 times), narrowly lost the boards battle (35-32) and, for all the lost possession, still attempted nearly as many shots in the contest (60 to Lethbridge's 64). But they only hit at a 33.3 per cent rate, compared to a sizzling 46.9 per cent for the home side.
Lethbridge had a balanced attack with four starters scoring in double digits. Katie Keith led the way with 12 points, while Amy Mazutinec, Danielle Fritzke each had 11 points. Kacie Bosch also had 11 points in the opening half before leaving the game due to injury.
The Griffins were led by fifth-year guard Kayla Ivicak, who recorded her first double-double of the 2018-19 campaign after setting a school record with nine of them last season. She led MacEwan with 14 points and 12 rebounds on Friday.
"Kayla was good," said Adams. "She's getting back into the Kayla of old after managing (ailments) early in the season, so that's a bonus for us. It's good to see her getting back to her normal self."
No other Griffins player scored in double digits, though – Mackenzie Farmer coming the closest with nine points in 27 minutes.
Through the opening 10 minutes, the Pronghorns, aided by 10 MacEwan turnovers, held a 17-12 lead. While the Griffins hit only five shots from the floor in the first quarter, two from long range were able to keep within striking distance.
Following a relatively slow scoring pace for much of the first quarter, both teams found their offensive rhythm in the second half but through 20 minutes, the Pronghorns still held a five-point lead after both teams hit for 22 points in the second.
"We were down five at half-time and it was competitive," said Adams. "I thought we were sticking with them and challenging and trying to find our rhythm and then in the second half there were just a few lapses in critical moments that could have shifted momentum and closed the gap a little bit, but we didn't capitalize. Instead, they took advantage.
"It's good learning for us to be able to recognize some of these critical moments that turn the game around one way or another, so that's what we're trying to take away from today."
Going on a 16-4 run to start the second half, the Pronghorn blew open a close game and took a 17-point lead with just under four minutes to play in the third quarter.
The Pronghorns' strong play continued into the fourth closing out the game, holding MacEwan to another 10-point quarter and pushing the lead over 20 points in the final minutes of the game.
The Pronghorns and Griffins will hit the floor again on Saturday to complete the weekend set. Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m. Catch all the action on www.canadawest.tv.