Lucas Meyer, Dinos Communications
CALGARY - The University of Calgary Dinos got back to their high-octane offense Friday night in their first-ever matchup against the Grant MacEwan Griffins, blowing out their opponents 101-74.
The Griffins had no answer for Calgary's well-balanced offense, as Thomas Cooper led the way with a dominant 27-point performance, along with six rebounds and three assists.
Four other Dinos scored in double-figures as no. 6 Calgary improved to 15-4 on the year, dropping MacEwan to 7-12, as they look towards climbing the Canada West RPI rankings, entering this weekend in fourth place.
"We just wanted to come out tonight as hard as we can," guard Max Eisele said. "We're ranked higher than this team, but that doesn't mean anything. We had to play our hardest and on our level and that's what we tried to do for 40 minutes."
The Dinos got off to a slow start, only leading by two at the end of the first quarter, but took control in the second, with David Kapinga and Mambi Diawara hitting back-to-back threes to make it a 22-14 game. Calgary then went on a 7-0 run midway through the quarter and led 42-32 at halftime.
In the third, MacEwan's Keith Gerdes got hot, hitting three threes in the first few minutes to make it 50-44. But Calgary wasn't deterred, ending the quarter on an 8-0 run to lead 71-55 going into the fourth.
The Dinos went on cruise control the rest of the way, scoring 30 points in the frame, highlighted by a Kapinga pass off the backboard to a trailing Connor Foreman for the alley-oop dunk.
Jhony Verrone finished with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Diawara had 18 and Dallas Karch and Matt Ellis both scored 10. The home team shot 52 per cent for the game while capitalizing on MacEwan's 25 turnovers by scoring 31 points.
"We always have to keep our pace, our level up," Eisele said. "Don't get irritated by another opponent or go with a different mindset, every game counts and it's playoff time, we want to win it all."
Gerdes was the high scorer for the Griffins with 20 points, while Thadius Galvez had 18.
The Dinos end the regular season Saturday with Seniors Night against MacEwan, honouring Jasdeep Gill, Karch and Cooper.