Strong second half powers Griffins past Cascades

Shayna Cameron had a strong shooting night, hitting 6-for-8 from downtown in Saturday's road loss to MacEwan. (Tree Frog Imaging file photo)

Shayna Cameron had a strong shooting night, hitting 6-for-8 from downtown in Saturday’s road loss to MacEwan. (Tree Frog Imaging file photo)

The MacEwan Griffins pulled away in the second half to complete a weekend sweep of the UFV Cascades, prevailing 80-69 in Canada West women’s basketball action on Saturday evening in Edmonton.

The Explorer Division-leading Griffins improved to 11-3, while the fourth-place Cascades are 7-7.

“They were just a little bit better than us,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said afterward. “I thought we played really hard, and I was proud of how we competed.

“They (MacEwan) are a team that doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, and when you make mistakes, they make you pay for them. They’re a good, veteran team.”

Sydney Williams opened the game on fire for the Cascades – the second-year guard from Langley, B.C. went 4-of-5 from beyond the arc in the first half as UFV took a 39-38 lead into the break.

But the Griffins stitched together an 8-0 run midway through the third quarter and a 6-0 run to end the frame, yielding a 60-53 advantage for the hosts going into the fourth.

In the fourth quarter, MacEwan had an answer at the offensive end every time the Cascades made a push, and the visitors were unable to get the deficit any lower than four points the rest of the way.

The Cascades had a strong night shooting the ball from distance, swishing 11-of-22 attempts from beyond the arc. Shayna Cameron led the way in that department, going 6-for-8 on triples to account for all of her team-high 18 points. Williams finished 4-for-7 from downtown en route to 12 points.

Rookie point guard Kate Head had a fantastic night for the Cascades – she scored a career-high 13 points, tied her career high with nine rebounds, and added four assists. Fellow rookie Taylor Claggett notched a double-double (10 points, 14 rebounds) to go with four assists and three steals, and Canada West scoring leader Kayli Sartori posted 11 points, six rebounds and six assists.

MacEwan’s Megan Wood scored a game-high 20 points, albeit on 8-of-25 shooting from the field, while Kelly Fagan chipped in with 13 points and point guard Kendall Lydon registered 10 points and 11 assists.

Tuchscherer was pleased with the strides made by Head on Saturday, along with the hot shooting of Cameron and Williams.

“It was a real important game for Kate tonight,” he said. “I think you saw the kind of player she can be and will be for us down the road. She was really aggressive.

“Syd gave us a real spark early, and it was good to see her come out and have a good game – she works so hard for us. Likewise for Shayna. You almost expect production from her, but it was good for her to get her groove back in her shot tonight.”

The Cascades now head into a bye week. They return to action Feb. 5-6 on the road vs. UBC Okanagan.

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