By Jack Pengelly; Dinos Communications
CALGARY – Following their 101-56 drubbing of UBC Okanagan on Friday, the University of Calgary Dinos struggled offensively but were able to gut out a 79-66 win against the Heat Saturday night to sweep the weekend series.
Calgary pulled down 17 offensive rebounds, helping them add to their 36-16 points in the paint advantage, which buoyed their offensive output. Similar to Friday, the Dinos were able to generate open looks against the UBCO defence, however they shot under 40 per cent from the field, under 30 per cent from three-point range, and under 65 per cent from the free throw line. The missed shots didn't hinder their effort at either end however, as they fought for every loose ball and rebound.
Mambi Diawara took control of the game to start the second quarter, driving to the hoop against the smaller UBCO lineup. He finished with a game-high 29 points, however he was limited to just 3/8 from the free throw line. His fast break lay-in following a Heat bucket with two minutes to play in the game epitomized the speed the Dinos competed with and sealed the victory by stretching the lead to ten.
Leading the way on the interior for Calgary was Connor Foreman, who had seven offensive rebounds and four rejections in just ten minutes of action. His spark was most evident with one minute to play in the third in a 53-50 game. Catching the ball at the block, Foreman took one strong dribble before going up for a thunderous jam. And then the ball rimmed out. Undeterred, Foreman corralled two more offensive rebounds before finally scoring the bucket and getting fouled.
While the percentages may have been low, the effort put forth by the Dinos enabled them to pull away from the Heat in the second frame. Aldrich Berrios never stepped off the court for UBCO, scoring 18 points in 40 minutes. Second-year guard Triston Mathews chipped in 17 points.
Following their sweep of UBCO, Calgary (13-3) has a playoff spot locked down and now looks ahead to Lethbridge next week. The Pronghorns are the fourth best team in Canada West with the second-best offence, and will give the Calgary defence everything it can handle. David Kapinga has been rock solid all season for the Dinos, but may face his toughest test yet against DeJon Burdeaux, who is averaging 22 points, seven rebounds, and three assists this season. Action kicks off on Thursday evening in Lethbridge, before both squads travel to Calgary to close out the series on Saturday.
The Heat (2-14) return home next week to host the UBC Thunderbirds.
Photo by David Moll