Ian Gustafson; Dinos Communications
CALGARY – The University of Calgary Dinos broke the game open in the second quarter and put up a statement 97-63 win over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Thursday night in Game 1 of their best-of-three Canada West semifinal.
Game 2 is set for Friday night, and a Dinos win would send them back to the U SPORTS Final 8 for the fourth consecutive year.
After a tight 21-20 first quarter, the Dinos picked up the intensity on the defensive end including a big Brett Layton rejection. In the first half the Dinos forced the Huskies to commit 14 turnovers to lead 45-34 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Dinos exploded offensively scoring 31 points in the quarter and holding the Huskies to only 12 points. The Dinos sealed the deal in the final frame.
"I thought we took care of the ball all game and our defense turning them over 26 times all game really makes a difference for us," said Calgary head coach Dan Vanhooren.
Despite the win, the Dinos were out rebounded by the Huskies by a 50-33 margin and Vanhooren wants to see improvements on the glass.
"We have to do a better job on the glass," he said. "they're one of the best rebounding teams in our conference and we can't give up those kind of rebounding margins."
Carter Kuchinka, Andrew Milner, Sasha Pojuzina, and Tobi Adelodun all received minutes in the fourth quarter.
"I really like what we're getting from Mason, Carter Kuchinka is showing some signs of becoming a very good basketball player," said Vanhooren. "I'm very pleased with what I saw from those guys."
Mambi Diawara did what he does best, scoring 26 points and adding seven assists on 10-of-20 shooting. Lucas Mannes had an efficient night shooting 4-of-6 for a 13-point game.
Brett Layton and Max Eisele had big nights on the defensive end. Layton finished with 11 points and five blocks and Eisele had eight points, four steals, and drew some important charges to get his team the ball back.
"I think [Max] terrific, he got a lot of deflections, and was very active tonight. It sparks our team on the other end of the floor," said Vanhooren.
Chan De Ciman had a big effort offensively for the Huskies scoring 19 points and four rebounds. Lawrence Moore was right behind him with 14 points and six rebounds of his own.
The Dinos and Huskies clash again Friday night as the Huskies will look to tie the series up at 8 p.m. MT in the Jack Simpson Gym, live on CanadaWest.tv.
Photo by David Moll