Kellen Forrest; Dinos Communications
CALGARY – The University of Calgary Dinos put a punctuation mark on their regular season Saturday night, picking up their 15th consecutive victory with an 84-55 win over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.
The Dinos finish the season at 17-3 and earn the second seed into the Canada West playoffs, meaning they'll have home court advantage through the semifinal round. That's important: the two semifinal winners will earn a berth to the U SPORTS Final 8 at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Thompson Rivers wraps up the season 4-16 and will not qualify for the postseason.
"Very proud," said Dinos Head Coach Damian Jennings of his team's wins streak. "Anyone involved in sport knows how difficult it is to even win back-to-back games, so a streak like this is pretty incredible. You also have a target on your back the whole time, so I'm really proud of the girls' composure."
In 80 minutes of play between the two nights, the Dinos never trailed, leading wire-to-wire in both contests. The WolfPack would keep it tight in the first half of this one, even cutting the Dinos lead to 23-20 early in the second quarter on a Kanesha Reeves three. However, back from an ankle injury, third-year Dino Liene Stalidzane would answer right back with a three of her own, and the Dinos would not look back from there.
The Dinos were once again able to use their conditioning and deep bench to their advantage, and completely dominated the second half. Calgary outscored TRU 24-15 in the third, and 24-12 in the fourth, leading to the 29 point victory.
Calgary was dominant in the paint, using their size advantage on multiple occasions to out muscle WolfPack defenders. The Dinos outscored TRU 40-22 in the paint, as well as out rebounding the WolfPack by a substantial 51-27 margin.
It was an incredible team performance from the Dinos tonight, as every single player on the active roster contributed at least 2 points. Stalidzane, Bobbi Jo Colburn, Kiki Knox, and Erin McIntosh all scored in double digits, with Colburn having a team high 15.
While it was unfortunate outcome for fifth-year WolfPack players Michelle Bos, Kanesha Reeves, and Emily Vilac, they all played their hearts out all night in what will be their final game for TRU. Reeves and Bos were outstanding all game, with Reeves having a game-high 18 points, and Bos contributing 16 of her own. Vilac was also able to add 4 points as well as 5 rebounds.
The Dinos earn a bye through the first round of the Canada West playoffs and will await their opponent following next week's action. Calgary will host a best-of-three conference quarter-final series Feb. 15-17 in the Jack Simpson Gym.
Photo by David Moll