Lucas Meyer, Dinos Communications
CALGARY – The University of Calgary Dinos were nearly upset after a great first half in Game 1 of the Canada West quarter-finals, but held off the Thompson Rivers WolfPack for a 75-71 victory Thursday night in the Jack Simpson Gym.
In a rematch of last year's conference championship game, the Dinos bent, but never broke and can now move on to host the Final Four with a win Friday night in Game 2. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. MT, live on CanadaWest.tv.
Calgary jumped out to a 16-4 lead in the first quarter and led by nine after 10 minutes. It was still a 10-point lead with a minute to go in the half, but then Calgary went on an incredible 9-0 run to make it 43-24 headed into the break. David Kapinga would score two, hit a three, get a steal and find Dallas Karch for a dunk, before Jhony Verrone would get a steal himself and score a layup right at the buzzer.
In the third, TRU's all-star Volodymyr Iegorov took over. The fifth-year forward scored all over the court, including a massive jam over Kapinga, while the Dinos offense went cold against the TRU zone.
The WolfPack outscored Calgary 24-9 in the Dinos' worst quarter of the season and the visitors trailed by just four going into the third. TRU made it a one-point game twice in the final frame, including 59-58 about halfway through.
However, Kapinga refused to let his team fall, hitting 11 points in the fourth quarter, including a huge three from the corner with less than minute remaining as Calgary went on to the win.
Kapinga finished with 19 points, six rebounds, six steals and three assists, while Thomas Cooper finished with a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Iegorov fouled out after an incredible game of 27 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.
TRU actually hit one more shot in the game than Calgary did and both hit nine threes, but Calgary's 16 free throws to the Wolfpack's 10 was critical.
The game wasn't without its emotion either, as Calgary's bench was called for two technical fouls and Iegorov and the Dinos Mambi Diawara had words after getting tangled up under the basket late in the game.
Photo by David Moll