All five Griffins starters were had double-digit points in the victory, led by Megan Wood with 23 points and two rebounds. Kelly Fagan had a strong defensive game for MacEwan with 10 points and 13 rebounds. In total, the Griffins outrebounded 47-40 including 19 offensive rebounds.
Fourth-year Vike Jenna Bugiardini had a massive night with 29 points and 14 rebounds but couldn’t lead her side to victory with her third-consecutive double-double in the Canada West Playoffs. Kristy Gallagher had another good night with 18 points and going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair welcomed her third son to the family this morning before taking to the sidelines with her team on Friday evening. The Vikes wish to congratulate her and her family on the addition as the Vikes prepare to rebound from tonight’s loss with Game 2 tomorrow evening.
“We were simply outcompeted by a very good team tonight, and you can’t do that in someone else’s gym,” commented Sinclair. “We allowed them to go to their strengths and were caught watching for most parts of the game.”
The Vikes opened the scoring and quickly built a six-point lead midway through the first quarter by shooting 40 per cent from the floor. The Griffins shook off the rust from the bye week and went on two five-point runs to tie the game at 16-16. After a Vikes basket, Kelly O’Hallahan hit a three point buzzer beater to give MacEwan University their first lead of the game, 19-18.
In the second quarter, MacEwan put on a defensive display holding the high powered Victoria offense to 14 points. The Griffins, shooting 40 per cent in the quarter, where able to build some momentum and open a slim five-point lead at the intermission.
The Griffins were led by O’Hallahan and Wood with nine points each in the first half. Six different Griffins were on the scoreboard as the the Griffins shot 40.5 per cent for the half. Gallagher and Bugiardini each scored 13 points for the Vikes, who shot 34.3 per cent. The lead changed hands seven times in the first half, showing how close the game has been with the both teams within one point of each other for most of the game so far.
MacEwan continued to play tremendous defense holding the Vikes to 13 points in the third while continuing to build on their halftime lead by out-scoring Victoria by seven points to open up a 12 point advantage going into the fourth. MacEwan shot 53 per cent in the quarter led by Wood’s seven points. The Vikes shot 48 per cent in the fourth quarter to stay in the game, but MacEwan matched them basket for basket by holding on for the nine point victory over Victoria.
The tip-off for tomorrow night’s game two is set for 4:00 p.m. PST at the City Centre Campus gymnasium.