Griffin helps Bendigo win to keep playoff hopes alive in Australia

January 28, 2017

Kelsey Griffin

Eagle River’s Kelsey Griffin has a message for the WNBL in Australia.

Don’t count out the Bendigo Spirit.

“I believe us to be a playoff team but if you can’t beat teams that aren’t going to make it then you don’t really deserve to make it yourself,” the team captain told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Starting the day one game out of playoff contention, the Spirit stayed alive with a much-needed 76-69 victory over seventh-place Melbourne in Australia.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Bendigo.

Griffin, of Chugiak High fame, grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and scored seven points before fouling out in just 19 minutes.

Bendigo moved into a tie for fourth-place in the WNBL with the Townsville Fire, a half-game ahead of the UC Capitals. The top four teams advance to the single-elimination tournament at the end of the year.

Three games remain in the regular season.

Griffin is averaging 15 points and 7.8 rebounds in 20 games this season.

She is trying to get Bendigo back to the Grand Finals for the fourth time in her five years with the team.

The 6-foot-2 forward led the Bendigo to WNBL championships in 2013, 2014 and back to the Grand Finals in 2015.

“We are in with a chance and we have to keep reiterating that we need to keep working hard and keep working together,” Griffin said.

“This league is amazing in how just a couple of minutes can completely change the momentum of a game – we’ve benefited from that a couple of times and had that against us a couple of times. So we can’t be catastrophically overanalyzing what is happening right now. It’s important we learn from it and move forward.”