MBB: Calgary draws first blood in Battle of Alberta

MBB: Calgary draws first blood in Battle of Alberta

Ian Gustafson; Dinos Communications

CALGARY – The University of Calgary Dinos drew first blood in the Battle of Alberta with an 88-77 win over the University of Alberta Golden Bears Thursday night in the Jack Simpson Gym.

Sophomore guard Andrew Milner had an outstanding night off the bench, contributing 20 points in 26 minutes, as the third-ranked Dinos improve to 3-0 on the year. No. 4 Alberta falls to 2-1.

After Alberta took a 22-16 lead following the opening quarter, the Dinos made a push before halftime. Calgary outscored the Bears 29-12 in the second stanza, shooting better than 70 per cent from the field in the frame.

In the second half, the Dinos maintained their lead and improved their defence to come out on top against their longtime rival in the front end of their weekend home-and-home series.

"Our effort defensively was much stronger but for the most part the first quarter was about rebounding the ball and the Bears didn't have a single turnover in the first quarter, which says something about our defence," said Calgary Head Coach Dan Vanhooren. "Without any turnovers they are getting shots every possession and that's why the first quarter was the way it was.

"We had to battle and we ended up with a limited amount of turnovers total but we needed to share the ball more and we had to take care of the rebounding, and we did. They only had one offensive rebound in the second quarter."

Milner provided a spark off the bench, scoring his 20 points off 7-of-10 shooting, with his first seven shots all falling. Three of those were from beyond the arc.

"Andrew is probably the most skilled basketball player we have," said Vanhooren. "He's not the best athlete but he is by far the most skilled and he showed what he can do tonight. He's a little mini Steph Curry out there."

It was just another day at the office for Mambi Diawara, who contributed 22 points and nine rebounds. Lars Schlueter added 12 points and seven rebounds, with Brett Layton adding 10 points.

The Bears didn't go down with out a fight. Ivan Ikomey scored 17 points, and Andre Kelly scored 15 points in a losing effort. Fourth-year forward Brody Clarke led all players with another big night on the glass, pulling down a 15-rebound, 10-point double-double.

The Dinos are back in action on Saturday for a rematch with the Golden Bears in Edmonton at the Saville Community Sports Centre at 7 p.m.


Photo by David Moll