No. 2 Dinos bounce back from opening night loss with blowout

No. 2 Dinos bounce back from opening night loss with blowout

Lucas Meyer, Dinos Communications Assistant

CALGARY - The University of Calgary Dinos got back to their championship ways Saturday night, blowing out the Manitoba Bisons 102-77 after suffering an opening-season loss the night before. 

The reigning Canada West champions took control from the opening tip en route to the 25-point win, with five players finishing in double-figures. Head Coach Dan Vanhooren's tinkering of the starting lineup with Mitch Ligertwood and Mambi Diawara beginning the game paid off immediately, with Ligertwood scoring the first points. He would then find Thomas Cooper a short time later as the Dinos dominated from the start, exploding for 30 points in the first quarter.

"We were more prepared because we were really mad that we didn't win the opening game," Diawara said. "We were so ready for it." 

On the defensive end, Manitoba was held to just 16 points in each of the opening quarters and Calgary would lead by as many as 26 in the first half. Up 52-32 going into the third, Cooper would score four straight points to open the second half. A short time later, it was the new starters, Diawara and Ligertwood, continuing to make an impact, as Diawara's layup to make it 58-35 was followed up by a Ligertwood jumper. Diawara would then hit a three-pointer and Ligertwood would draw a foul on a made layup to make it 65-39. 

The Bisons wouldn't get closer than 15, as the Dinos cruised to the blowout. 

All five Calgary starters scored in double figures, led by David Kapinga with 21, along with Diawara (19), Cooper (18), Lars Schlueter (12) and Ligertwood (10). Cooper also had a double-double with 10 rebounds, a night after going for 39 points. 

After A.J. Basi and Justus Alleyn led the way in the opening night win, Basi would struggle going just 1-8 for five points, while Alleyn had the long strong game for Manitoba with 23 points. Unlike Friday's game where the Dinos were outrebounded 40-33, they won the battle on the boards 45-34 in victory. Calgary's blistering shooting start would cool off, but they still finished 55 per cent from the floor, including 10-19 from downtown - coincidentally, the same amount Manitoba had the night before. 

"Last night, they came at us and we weren't ready like we wanted to be, but I think today we had a great game as a team," Diawara said. 

After getting the split, the Dinos will travel to Victoria next weekend for a series with the Vikes.