Courtesy Eric Gonzalez
Eric Gonzalez

Dinos men’s basketball opens season with back-to-back wins

By Grant Jackson, November 8, 2015 —

The Dinos men’s basketball team made their home debut on Nov. 6, beginning their Canada West campaign with a 87–67 win over the University of Winnipeg Wesmen at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium.

The Dinos got off to a quick start against the Wesmen, opening the game with a 16–3 run — largely due to Dinos forward Lars Schlueter, who connected with four straight three-pointers early in the contest.

“We just run our plays hard and fast,” said Schlueter. “Then we get our open shots.”

The Dinos continued their strong play throughout the first quarter as first-year guard Torrez McKoy delivered a beautiful pass that ended with an easy slam for the Dinos. McKoy’s solid play on the second unit was one of the key contributions from the Dinos’ deep bench.

“I think our depth shows, when I can sub in five guys when we don’t do the right things out there,” said head coach Dan Vanhooren. “It allows us to hold them more accountable for the things that we think are important. I think we have a good deep basketball team and hopefully we can continue doing that all year.”

Dinos forward Dallas Karch also came up big for his club off the bench, tallying 10 points and eight rebounds. Teammate Connor Foreman added eight rebounds in just 13 minutes of play.

The Dinos’ dominance continued through the second quarter, extending their lead to 45–28 at halftime.

While the University of Calgary’s bench players were exceptional, their starters were also up to the task, as four of them finished in the double digits.

Thomas Cooper drained nine free throws on 10 attempts, finishing with a game-high 24 points. Cooper added 12 rebounds to his impressive stat line as well. Schlueter, David Kapinga and Jhony Verrone rounded out the other double-digit performances from the Dinos’ back-court.

The Dinos’ defence also put forth a notable effort in the contest, holding the Wesmen in check all game long.

“Jelane Pryce is one of their better players,” Vanhooren said. “We had to do a good job of containing him and keeping him in front of us.”

The U of C limited Pryce to only 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting from the field. The lone bright spot for the Wesmen was Jamar Farley, who shot 4-for-8 from distance and scored a team-high 20 points.

Defence was a key priority for the Dinos heading into their opener, and it certainly showed — the U of C scored 20 points off of turnovers, turning great defense into easy buckets.

As a result, the Dinos came away with a decisive opening victory. The U of C finished off Winnipeg with a 88–55 victory in the second installment of the teams’ back-to-back series on Nov. 7.

The Dinos will now travel to Winnipeg to face the University of Manitoba in another back-to-back set on Nov. 13–14.

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