Ian Gustafson, Dinos Communications
CALGARY – Fifth-year forward Lars Schlueter was nothing short of unstoppable Friday night, scoring 37 points as the University of Calgary Dinos swept the University of Saskatchewan Huskies two games to none in their best-of-three Canada West semifinal with a monster 117-77 win Friday night.
The victory sends the Dinos back to the U SPORTS Final 8 for the fourth consecutive season, where they will have a chance to defend their national championship from 2018. As an added bonus, the Dinos will also host the Canada West championship game against either Alberta or UBC next Saturday, March 2 in the Jack Simpson Gym. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.
After a tight 23 – 21 first quarter, the Dinos took control of the game in the second quarter to head into halftime with a 55-40 lead.
In the second half, the Dinos stepped up on defence causing the Huskies to make mistakes on the offensive end. The Dinos took advantage with a 81-58 lead heading into the final frame.
Lars Schlueter unleashed his three point shot early in the fourth quarter to help the Dinos run away with a blow out win.
"It was a lot of fun to watch that one to be honest," said Dinos head coach Dan Vanhooren. "It was nice to see the guys clean up our rebounding after the first quarter; I was starting to get frustrated with them."
Schlueter scored his 37 points on shooting 13-of-19 from the field, and 8-of-12 from three-point land – with five of those coming in the final frame.
"He can shoot the ball, if you give him that kind of space," Vanhooren said. "Once he gets going he is 6-8, it's hard to get up that high to contest and once he gets going it's tough to manage him."
Five Dinos players finished in double-digit points: Schlueter, Mambi Diawara, David Kapinga, Lucas Mannes, and Andrew Milner. Diawara narrowly missed a double-double with his 19-point, nine-assist effort, while Kapinga picked up 15 and Mannes 13. The Dinos forced 22 Saskatchewan turnovers while committing just 11, and won the rebounding battle by a 40-35 margin.
JT Robinson led the way for the Huskies with 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Lawrence Moore, in his final U SPORTS game, and Emmanuel Akintunde both finished with 14 points. Alexander Dewar added nine, with Chan De Ciman chipping in with eight.
Photo by David Moll