Zachary Worden, CougarS Athletics
CALGARY – The Mount Royal University Cougars and MacEwan Griffins played the second game of their weekend series on Saturday night at Kenyon Court. The Cougars came away with the 87-79 win on Friday night, their fifth win of the season.
MRU came away with a sweep by beating the Griffins 92-83, while shooting the lights out. The team shot 52% from the field and 53% from three. LJ Hegwood finished with a double-double, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The Cougars had three other players score in double-digits, as Glen Yang finished with 19, Patrick Vandervelden had 16 and Samuel Willis III added 14.
For the second night in a row, the Griffins offense was carried by Jake Notice. He scored 22 points, making eight of his 15 shots attempts. The MacEwan offense relied on their three-point shooting throughout the game, as they ended up knocking down 12 threes on 29 attempts.
Yang was on fire right out of the gate. He scored or assisted on the Cougars' first 13 points. He hit three-pointers as he drove the Cougars' offense early.
The MRU offense was firing on all cylinders in the first quarter. They found their way to the rim, converted 55% of their shots and 80% of their shots from three.
The Griffins offense was hot from deep in the first 10 minutes. They shot 50% from three, scoring 12 of their first quarter points from behind the arc.
After building an eight-point lead after the first quarter, the Cougars went on a 7-0 run, looking to build an insurmountable lead.
The Griffins were able to respond to the early Cougars' run and keep the home team from running away with the game.
MacEwan cut the MRU lead to 11 heading into halftime. Notice led their attack in the first half as he scored 12 points and was the focal point of their offence. His scoring through the first 20 minutes came efficiently as he hit four of his seven shots and got four shots from the free throw line.
The Cougars first half offense came from Yang, Hegwood and Willis III who combined for 31 points. It seemed like the team couldn't miss through the first two quarters. They shot 54% from the field and 55% from three, knocking down shots from all over the court.
The Cougars dominated both sides of the floor in the opening minutes out of the halftime break. They started on an 8-0 run and found success turning their defense into offense. Two blocks from Vandervelden and two steals helped them get out and score.
MRU used the third quarter to build up their lead. They outscored the Griffins by 11 in the quarter and set themselves up with a big lead for the final quarter.
The Griffins came into the fourth looking to cut their deficit to a manageable amount heading into the stretch run of the game. After battling for most of the quarter, MacEwan went on an 18-2 run to cut the Cougars' lead to five heading into the final minute and a half of the game. The run started with just under four minutes remaining and they only missed one shot, helping get right back in the game.
MRU was able to hold off the MacEwan comeback efforts in the final minute and come away with their sixth win, getting some big points in the CanadaWest standings.
Both teams will be back in action next weekend. The Cougars will hit the road to face the UBC Thunderbirds in their final games of 2018. MacEwan will be the visitors once again, as they will play in Regina against the Cougars. All games will be streamed live on www.canadawest.tv.