Josh Tevlin; Dinos Communications
CALGARY – In the second of a two-game series, the University of Calgary Dinos defeated the visiting University of Victoria Vikes in a hard-fought, physical 86-65 win at the Jack Simpson Gym Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Dinos improve to 5-3 on the season, matching the Vikes' 5-3 record.
After a tough loss Saturday night, the Vikes came out with a revamped strategy to best the Dinos. Regardless, the Dinos didn't seem to be fazed in this rematch, continuing with their pressing defense and physical offense that was on display Friday night.
Calgary's much improved free-throw shooting, 88.9 per cent compared to 53.3 on Friday, compensated for a drop in field goal shooting. The Dinos ended the game shooting 41 per cent from the field.
The game commenced with an evenly-matched first quarter. The Dinos continued their notorious full court press early on and it resulted in some crucial forced turnovers for the Vikes. The Vikes were looking much improved in the first quarter. They came out of the opening quarter with a one-point lead thanks to Vikes star guard, Amira Giannattasio.
Giannattasio finished the first half with a team leading 14 points after being held to just five points on Saturday night. This dominant first half performance was not enough to hold an improving Calgary offence, however, and the Dinos went into the half with a commanding 44-36 lead.
The third quarter was where the Dinos began running away with the game. Calgary executed a smothering full court press that resulted in seven third-quarter steals. Erin McIntosh and Laura Grabe made a huge defensive impact, concluding the game with three steals a piece.
Calgary held off an advancing Vikes and secured a 21-point victory at the final buzzer.
"The connection between our defense and our offense has given us the transition piece that we've had," said Dinos Head Coach Damian Jennings when asked about the Dinos' three-game win streak. "But we have to be able to do that against all the top teams."
The Dinos team showed how deep they were with great statistical performance from many players. Bobbi Jo Colburn led the squad with 22 points and two steals. Erin McIntosh added 11 points and three steals, and Liene Stalidzane had an impressive nine points, five assists, and two steals.
The Vikes were led by Giannattasio and Ashlyn Day, who had 18 points each.
"I thought we came out with more energy and more fight to start the game an obviously shot the ball a little bit better but still gave up too many points," said Dani Sinclair, head coach of the Vikes. "We didn't stick to the game plan of what was working and against a good team like Calgary they're going to make you pay for that. And I thought they made us pay for all of our mistakes pretty much all day long."
Calgary heads out on the road next weekend to face the Manitoba Bisons in Winnipeg, while the Vikes return home to take on the Trinity Western Spartans.
Photo by David Moll