Cougars outscored in all four quarters of 'humbling' defeat
It was a battle of the only two undefeated women's basketball teams left in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference, known as the ACAC, on Nov. 18 as the south division leader Mount Royal Cougars took on rivals and top seeded Grant MacEwan Griffins from the north division at Mount Royal University's Kenyon Court.
The Cougars knew that they had to go into the game fired up after a heartbreaking loss in the semi-final game of the ACAC championship last season at the hands of the Griffins, said second year guard and Cougar's player of the game Danica Rybachuk.
Despite the excitement heading into the game, the Cougars were unable to follow through and were handed a 78-49 loss at the hands of the Griffins, who improved to 7-0 on the season with the win while the Cougars fell to 6-1.
"I'm at a loss for words," said Cougars head coach Joe Enevoldson after the game. "You've got to give it to MacEwan. They are the best team in the league right now and they made us look silly at some aspects of the game of basketball."
The game began with tight defence from both sides, with the teams only making a handful of baskets by the end of the first quarter.
"We had our moments of good plays," said Jessica Comfort, a first year guard for the Cougars. "We just weren't very consistent."
The quarter ended with the Griffins edging out the Cougars 13-8.
In the second quarter, however, the Cougars came back strong and went on a 5-2 scoring run putting them within two points of tying up the game. This was the closest the Cougars would come to challenging the Griffins for the lead for the rest of the game.
The scoring gap between the two teams got larger in the last two quarters, with the Griffins offense taking advantage of Cougars defensive errors and the fact that they were only shooting 26 per cent from the field by going on a 24-13 tear.
"We tried to push the tempo. We tried to push possession of the ball. We just didn't always follow through with that," Comfort said.
The Cougars are now looking to move on and play to the potential they showed earlier in the season when they were on their undefeated streak.
"I think that this loss was humbling," Rybachuk said. "It shows we have a lot to work for. We're going to pick ourselves up and show up next game."
This was the first and last time the Cougars will play the Griffins this season. The two teams will not meet up again unless both teams make it to the semi-finals once more.
The next home game for the Cougars is Friday, Nov. 25 when the Cougars take on Red Deer College.
- By Caitlin Gajdostik