Amber Doyle, Bison Sports
WINNIPEG – A dominant first half carried the No. 8 Calgary Dinos to a 75-54 win over the Manitoba Bisons in women's basketball on Friday at Investors Group Athletic Centre.
Both teams were quite neck-and-neck throughout the second half, but the Dinos held a strong lead, creating a gap too wide for the Herd to close.
The Dinos played a tight defence throughout the game. The visitors especially zeroed in on Manitoba's third-year guard Taylor Randall, who sat fifth in Canada West in points per game heading into Friday's matchup. Randall scored ten points compared to her average 19. Eight of her points were just in the fourth quarter.
"We knew it was going to happen," said Bisons head coach Michele Sung. "We need to have composure when we know a team is going to have a very specific game plan and just execute."
The Dinos' intense defence limited the Bisons offence. Despite the Bisons taking a reasonable 32 shots in the opening half to Calgary's 40, only 21.9 per cent of the Bisons' shots landed to their opponent's 52.5 per cent. The Dinos led 49-23 going into halftime.
Calgary's offence was led by fourth-year Erin McIntosh with 14 points. McIntosh is near the top of Canada West's stats for three-pointer percentage with 48.4 per cent. She went 2-4 from beyond the arc in Friday's matchup. Fourth-year guard Sascha Lichtenwald and second-year guard Liene Stalidzane both also had steady games with 13 points each.
Manitoba's fourth-year guard Nicole Konieczny came into the second half with some spark. Konieczny led the way during the first half with nine of the Bisons' total 23 points, but she put up seven points in the third quarter alone. Third-year forward Addison Martin also stepped up to the plate, adding another eight points in the quarter. All-in-all, the Bisons outscored the Dinos 22 to 12 in the third.
"I wish we could have played the whole game like we played the third quarter," said Sung.
Martin and Konieczny both also contributed off the glass, each adding eight rebounds throughout the game. On the other end of the court, Calgary's McIntosh led the way with eight boards of her own.
After Friday's game, the Bisons fall to 5-4 on the season, and the Dinos improve to 6-3. Both the Bisons and the Dinos entered Friday's game with 5-3 records. The Bisons dropped the last three straight games, while the Dinos came in riding a three-game win streak.
Both teams play again tomorrow night at Investors Group Athletic Centre. Tipoff is at 5 p.m.