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Louie Villanueva

Dinos defend home turf against Thunderbirds

By Emilie Medland-Marchen, November 28, 2015 —

The Dinos women’s basketball team overcame a slow start in their Nov. 27 tilt against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds to earn a 70–50 victory, extending their win streak to six games.

Back-and-forth play defined the game’s first quarter, but the Dinos quickly caught on to their opponents’ offense and found a way to pull ahead. The Dinos had to regain their focus after a number of missed shots when they entered the second quarter with the game tied 18–18.

Head coach Damian Jennings said that his team’s hard fight ensured a Dinos win.

“I felt that it was a little lacklustre at times but it got the job done,” Jennings said. “So I guess we just have to say we gritted this one out, though it was a little ugly, and I hope it’s a prettier game tomorrow.”

After finding their groove in the second quarter, the Dinos upped the pace and took control of the ball for the majority of the game. Their aggression managed to inch the points away from UBC, giving U of C a 36–23 lead at halftime.

The Dinos continued their expertly executed possession game in the second half. U of C guard Emma Nieuwenhuizen sunk another two points and fifth-year veteran Kelsey Lund went two-for-two from the free-throw line.

A powerful play from Dinos guard Brianna Ghali added insult to injury, as Ghali took a flying leap to sink the ball and secure a 46–31 Dinos lead.

The Dinos got defensive as the game neared its close, limiting UBC to nine points in the final quarter while still managing 14 of their own. Dinos forward Claire Colborne led the way, finishing the night with a team-leading 16 points.

The Dinos have now officially beaten every team in the Canada West conference. However, the victory over the Thunderbirds was a significant one, according to Jennings.

“We haven’t beaten them since 2010,” Jennings said. “UBC has been a powerhouse in basketball — they were the bronze medalists last year in the CIS. So from that side I’m pleased.”

Dinos forward Vanessa Wesolowski was also happy with the victory.

“We were a little stagnant tonight on offence,” Wesolowski said. “But I think at certain times people saw that and we were trying to just play as a team tonight.”

Nieuwenhuizen said it took a unified strategy to come back from their early struggles.

“We definitely had people step up at different times during the game,” Nieuwenhuizen said. “Our team is so diverse in that way. We have a lot of people who catch themselves up when everyone else is not on.”

The Dinos now head into the second of their back-to-back against UBC, looking to earn their seventh straight victory. The game tips off at 5:00 p.m. at Jack Simpson Gym.

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