Lance Doucet, Dinos Communications
CALGARY – Getting their first taste of home court action in 2019, the No. 8 University of Calgary Dinos earned a convincing 95-48 victory over their crosstown rivals, the Mount Royal Cougars, at the Jack Simpson Gym.
Following a heavily weighted home schedule to begin the season, Saturday's contest stood as the only January match in friendly confines for the Dinos – and they took full advantage of it.
Calgary's offence was potent right from tip-off, scoring 28 points in the opening quarter, which allowed their defence to settle into the game. While the Dinos collected no less than 19 points in each quarter, the Cougars were held to only 20 points in the second half.
"We said after [Thursday night's game] that our defence really needed to step up. We talk all the time about how our defence fuels our offence, that is what gets us going," said second-year guard Katie Upham. "As you can see by the score, we can run it up when we play good defence."
The Dinos have now won their last nine Canada West contests, improving to 11-3, and will now play four games on the road before returning to the Jack Simpson Gym on Feb. 1. Mount Royal slips to 2-12 on the season following back-to-back losses to Calgary.
"Our team wanted to work harder. We were hunting down rebounds and showed we wanted it more tonight," added Upham.
In the opening quarter, both teams had success shooting the ball as the Dinos and Cougars each connected at 40 percent. The difference on the scoreboard came in the paint as Calgary doubled Mount Royal in rebounds 16-8, leading the way to a 28-14 lead.
The Cougars continued to bury shots in the following quarter, but 10 turnovers limited their opportunity to cut into the Dinos' advantage. Calgary was relentless on the ball, picking up 16 points in the paint with 14 points off second-chance opportunities. Leading the charge was Erin McIntosh, who nearly collected a double-double in the first half with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Rebounding helped the Dinos out-chance the Cougars again in the second half, putting the game out of reach by the third quarter with three-point shooting. Bobbi Jo Colburn nailed two of Calgary's four three-point attempts in the third, pushing her team's lead to 30 points.
Mount Royal struggled with ball handling – especially in the second half – paving the way for 29 fourth-quarter points by Calgary. The Cougars finished the night with 39 turnovers, compared to only nine by the Dinos.
Colburn was the top point producer for the Dinos with 22 points on the night, while Sascha Lichtenwald and McIntosh contributed with 15 and 12 respectively.
Sarah Rinsky and Sydney Tabin each posted 10 points to lead Mount Royal.
The Dinos head north to Edmonton next weekend, taking on the MacEwan Griffins from Jan. 11-12, while the Cougars will play a home-and-home set with the Lethbridge Pronghorns.