By Tommy Osborne, February 2 2018 —
On Feb. 1, the University of Calgary Dinos hosted the Mount Royal Cougars for the annual Pack the Jack basketball game. The Dinos proved they’re a force to be reckoned with, firing on all cylinders en route to destroying the Cougars 107–54. The Dinos increased their current winning streak to six games and now look to ride a wave of momentum into the playoffs, which begin Feb. 10.
The Dinos set the tone for the game early in the first quarter, as fifth-year guard/forward Brianna Ghali drilled a three-pointer only seven seconds in. The Dinos followed up with a stellar defensive shift, forcing a shot-clock violation on the Cougars. The Dinos then made two consecutive three-pointers, jumping ahead to a quick 9–0 lead. The Cougars cut that to 9–2 but that was the closest the game would be, as the Dinos raced ahead and ended the first quarter with a decisive 28–7 lead.
Head coach Damian Jennings said that the Dinos’ aggressive defence set their forceful approach early in the game.
“When you’re hitting threes it’s a real challenge because we set ourselves up often to protect a certain part of the court,” he said. “As soon as you’re able to pull out the defense of another team because you make those threes suddenly the interior gaps start to open up. You start to get the nice complement of inside-outside game.”
The Dinos’ second quarter was just as impressive as their first, as their offensive onslaught of points and swarming defence continued. Halfway through the second, the Dinos built up a 40–16 lead. The rest of the first half belonged to the Dinos, bringing them into the second half with a 54–17 lead. Three dinos guards/forwards — second-year Bobbi Jo Colburn, third-year Erin Mcintosh and Ghali — finished the first half with double digits points.
The Dinos’ well-balanced approach was a result of the team’s great chemistry both on and off the court, according to Jennings.
“You’re seeing an expression of a group that love and care for and trust each other,” he said.
The Dinos started the third quarter sluggishly, allowing a 10-point run by the Cougars, bringing the game to 54–27. However, they quickly retaliated with a 13-point run of their own. Fifth-year guard/forward Shannon Hatch secured an eight-point run towards the end of the third which included back-to-back three-pointers and an impressive lay-up where she blew by the defender. By the end of the third, the Dinos built up a cozy 79–37 lead.
Despite the game’s predictable outcome, the fourth quarter remained exciting. With the Dinos nearing 100 points towards the end of the game, fans went crazy anytime a shot went up — especially by Colburn, who was approaching 30 points on the night. In the final minutes of the game, she landed a three-pointer, putting the Dinos into triple-digit score.
Jennings was impressed with Colburn’s drive and ambition.
“[Colburn] is very ambitiously trying to be that complete player. She got the ball turned over well for us and then she’s on the end of the fastbreak. To score 30 the way she did was an excellent performance,” he said.
The Dinos ended the night with a 107–54 victory, improving their record to 14–5 and dropping the Cougars to 1–18 on the season.
Jennings said that while the Pack the Jack fans boosted the Dinos’ motivation, they want to play every game just as hard.
“With this team there could be no one in the gym or there could be 2000 but they have enough ambition to play well for themselves,” he said. “[The student population have] always been great supporters of us and we should be proud of it. This is the University of Calgary. I know Mount Royal is a university as well but I just think that we are the city’s [dominant] university.”
The Dinos will face the Cougars again tomorrow at Mount Royal University at 6 p.m. in their final game of the regular season. The Dinos’ playoffs start on Feb. 10.