Jack Pengelly, Dinos Communications
CALGARY – The University of Calgary Dinos avenged a Thursday overtime loss, dismantling the Lethbridge Pronghorns 97-71 on Seniors' Night at the Jack Simpson Gym.
Connor Foreman and Jhony Verrone, the two seniors from Calgary, were met with heavy applause during Dinos head coach Dan Vanhooren's speech prior to tip-off. They checked out together with four minutes remaining in the game, receiving another rousing ovation from the crowd. The evening's festivities did not, however, distract the Dinos from the significant game at hand.
"It's emotional, it's a testament to the focus of our team right now. To come out, after listening to the features and having the distractions, and then come out and put together a game like that," said Foreman.
The Dinos dominated offensively and kept the high-octane Pronghorn offence out of rhythm for much of the night. Zac Overwater was the only Lethbridge player to score more than 15 points.
David Kapinga commanded the opening half of the game, facilitating the Calgary offence while contributing points at the half. The ball distribution from the guard spot was remarkable, as Calgary collected assists on 15 of 18 field goals in the first half. After 20 minutes the Dinos held a 48-36 advantage, but the best was yet to come.
Calgary maintained a 10-point advantage for the opening minutes of the third before the doors blew off. Closing the quarter on a 22-3 run, the Dinos blitzed the Pronghorns, tracking down every offensive rebound and connecting from long range. Lucas Mannes scored 10 of his game-high 24 in the frame, while Calgary corralled nine offensive rebounds in the third quarter alone. They ended the game with a 20-5 advantage in second-chance points. After the dust had settled, Calgary led 81-52 going into the fourth against a stunned and deflated Lethbridge team.
45 seconds into the fourth quarter Foreman reached into the stratosphere to throw down a vicious alley-oop that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Foreman finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds. The versatile attack was once again on display, with Mannes taking the reins, and Mambi Diawara contributing another solid outing.
"We've got the firepower. We have guys that can come off the bench and score 20 points. We have young guys coming in and stepping up and playing big minutes," added Foreman.
The youth, leadership, and talent of the Dinos have their eyes high to end this Canada West season. Calgary closes out its regular season against Mount Royal next weekend, which includes the infamous Pack the Jack night on Thursday.
Lethbridge is faced with another daunting task, travelling to Edmonton to close out the regular season against the Alberta Golden Bears. This may not be the last time these teams see each other, as Lethbridge and Calgary join UBC and Alberta to round out the top four teams in Canada West.