The MacEwan Griffins overcame a season-high 27 points from Kayli Sartori, pulling away in the fourth quarter to defeat the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team 76-61 on Friday evening in Edmonton.
For the first three quarters, the Cascades and Griffins battled back and forth, with neither team able to fully seize the momentum. But after mustering 44 points through three quarters, Explorer Division-leading MacEwan shook loose for 32 points in the final frame en route to victory.
The Cascades (7-6) and Griffins (10-3) renew hostilities on Saturday in Edmonton (5 p.m. Mountain time, webcast at ufv.canadawest.tv).
“I don’t necessarily think the final score was indicative of the type of game it was – it was a good game, for the most part,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said, alluding to the fact his team was up 54-53 with just under seven minutes remaining in regulation.
“They got a six- to eight-point lead with five minutes to, and we had to open things up, and that’s not really our style. They’re a veteran team, and they know how to close out games. We’re still trying to figure that out, unfortunately.”
Sartori, the leading scorer in Canada West at 19.6 points per game, was on fire from the opening tip, scoring eight points in the first quarter to spark her team to a 12-9 lead at the end of the frame. The Griffins gained some traction in the second quarter and took a 27-24 advantage into halftime, and the game remained close through three quarters with MacEwan leading 44-43.
The Cascades began the fourth trading buckets with the Griffins – Sartori scored eight quick points, and Katie Brink swished a three-pointer from the top of the key as the Cascades went ahead 54-53.
But the hosts reeled off a 13-2 run at that point, and the Cascades were unable to answer. It didn’t help matters that Sartori was assessed her fifth and disqualifying foul with 2:40 left.
Brink notched 11 points for the Cascades on 5-of-10 shooting from the field, and Shayna Cameron chipped in with 10 points.
Four of the Griffins’ five starters scored in double figures, led by Megan Wood (17 points) and Kelly O’Hallahan (15).