MacEwan Athletics and Regina Athletics
REGINA – They each attempted 66 shots.
One team drained 33 of them.
That's the sad tale of what happened to the MacEwan Griffins in suffering their worst loss of the season on Saturday – a deflating 86-28 setback to the homestanding Regina Cougars.
Cold shooting, which reared its ugly head in a brutal nine-point second half during Friday's 67-33 loss to Regina, continued to strangle MacEwan's efforts to keep pace with the No. 9-ranked team in the U SPORTS women's basketball ranks.
"Going back on tape and watching it will confirm for sure, but they hit shots early and they had a few tough ones where we contested them and were in position. They just made shots," said MacEwan head coach Katherine Adams. "We came down and had some good looks and didn't convert. Early in the game, that's deflating.
"When you get in a situation like that, it's tough to come back when they go on a run and you can't answer. They're a very good team."
Carolina Goncalves got the Cougars going with 15 points in the first quarter alone, helping Regina take a 24-8 lead after the opening period. The Cougars led 45-15 at halftime and kept it up defensively all game, conceding just four points in the fourth quarter and holding an opponent to fewer than 30 points for just the third time in program history.
"Obviously, I was pleased with our defensive effort tonight and that was something that carried over from the second half of last night's game," Cougars head coach Dave Taylor said. "I talked about making good decisions tonight and we did an outstanding job of that all night, and getting hot from three made a big difference offensively."
The Cougars were 13-for-30 from three-point range, led by Faith Reid (4-7) and Goncalves (3-7). Goncalves finished with a game-high 23 points, while Kyanna Giles was all over the stat sheet with 20 points, seven rebounds, seven steals, and four assists.
Mackenzie Farmer had a team-high eight points for MacEwan (4-8), which shot just 12.1 per cent from the field and turned the ball over 29 times.
"The one thing I asked the team today post-game was 'did we fight? Were we fighters and did we compete,' " related Adams. "The team unanimously said, 'yeah, we did, we fought.' It's not that we rolled over. We fought, we just didn't make shots and they did.
"When you look at the stats, we had the same number of shots, we outrebounded them at the offensive end. We gave everything we had and competed. They just made shots and are a very talented team.
"You try to look at the big picture of this first semester and how we grow from it moving forward."
The big picture is the Griffins are still very much in the playoff hunt – tied with Winnipeg for the 12th and final position at the halfway point of the season. They just need to learn from a tough weekend.
"We talked a lot about what we can learn and what we can take away from it," said Adams. "Obviously when you compete against one of the best teams in the country, you have to walk away with some value and some learning. Seeing here's how a top-10 team performs. Here's how they execute when it's tight.
"There's a ton of learning for us. Ultimately, it's where we want to be, so we have to walk away and say, 'what do we learn from this and how do we get better? What's next?'
Both teams will now have a month-long break from the Canada West schedule. The Cougars return to action on Jan. 4-5 at Victoria, while MacEwan won't play again until a Jan. 11-12 series against Calgary.