Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – When MacEwan last played Trinity Western in women's basketball, they were facing a U SPORTS top-10 team.
That was two seasons ago and this is now: a rebuilding Spartans squad that's 1-5, behind the 2-4 Griffins in the Canada West standings.
But don't be fooled by that record, says Griffins head coach Katherine Adams.
"They've had some close games. Last Friday night, they had a real tight one with No. 2 Calgary (a 69-61 loss). They have the third-leading scorer in the conference right now, so 1-5 might be a bit deceptive."
That would be Nicole Fransson, who's averaging 19.3 points per game for TWU. The Spartans are also getting 13.5 points each outing from Kianna Wiens, so there's a true double threat the Griffins will have to contend with as they visit TWU on Friday (7 p.m. MT) and Saturday (6 p.m. MT, both games on Canada West TV presented by Co-op).
"I think defensively, we know we're going to have our hands full," said Adams. "They've got two kids who've really stepped up and are scoring well and driving the play for them. So on the defensive side, that will be a big focus for us.
"Offensively, just having a balanced attack (will be key). I think we showed our last weekend how tough we can be when we get scoring from a variety of places and we're going to continue to build on that."
In the Griffins' last outing before their bye week – a 65-52 win over Thompson Rivers University on Nov. 16 – three players hit double digits for points (Farmer, Majeau and Noelle Kilbreath), while six others registered on the scoresheet as they outscored TRU 31-19 in bench production.
It was MacEwan's best overall effort of the season to date. Now if only the momentum can span an untimely bye week that forced them to the sidelines for 13 days, they'll be fine in Langley, B.C. this weekend.
"It definitely gave us a chance to tidy up a few things heading into the final weekend (of first semester) to get ourselves ready," said Adams. "There's certainly challenges associated with coming off a strong performance our last time out with coming into a break, but we've tried to make the most of it and use it to our advantage, get a little bit healthier, let the bodies rest and do what we can."