Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
-With files from David Larkins, Wesmen Athletics
WINNIPEG – If they can pluck a moral victory out of their sixth-straight loss to the season – a 69-54 setback to the Winnipeg Wesmen on Saturday night – the MacEwan Griffins women's basketball team can point to their defensive effort.
A night after allowing the Wesmen to hit at a 52.7 per cent clip from the field, the Griffins upped their intensity and held Winnipeg to just 35.8 per cent.
"It was certainly a focus for us after last night because we let them shoot for over 50 per cent from the floor," said MacEwan head coach Katherine Adams. "So, it was a big focus for us tonight just to come out with a bit more intensity, a little bit more physicality and take pride in some of those one-on-one battles.
"I thought they responded really well to that – in evidence alone of them shooting 36 per cent from the floor. I thought we got them to the end of the shot clock a lot more. They're talented. They hit some really tough shots. We did the best job we could, and they hit shots. Credit to them for that. I'm happy with the defensive intensity today, for sure."
If only they didn't turn the ball over 33 times. And score more.
Maybe then it would have been a different story for the Griffins, who fall to 2-10 in the Canada West standings after the defeat.
"When you turn the ball over 33 times, it's hard to get a flow and a rhythm offensively," said Adams. "Winnipeg did a great job taking us out of our rhythm, so we weren't able to get the shots that we wanted.
"It's tough when you turn the ball over 33 times defensively, as well, because now you're under the pump. They get a head of steam with some numbers advantages and that impacts your defensive effort as well."
Robyn Boulanger drove the bus for the Wesmen with 23 points, while Lena Wenke chipped in 14 and Jessica Dyck added 11.
Next up for the Griffins is a return home to host the Alberta Pandas on Thursday (6 p.m., David Atkinson Gym, Canada West TV presented by Co-op).