The University of Calgary men's basketball team was robbed of victory and a two game series sweep against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns this past weekend when Dino forward Ross Bekkering received a very questionable foul call from the official with mere seconds left in the game and a Dinos 74-73 lead.
Bekkering tried to secure the rebound from a shot by Dino forward Josh Feist but as he was going for the ball, his arm was hooked by Pronghorn captain Scott Mckinnon and Bekkering ended up losing control of the ball as he was tossed to the ground. He was assessed a foul penalty. The Pronghorns made both of their free throws and took a 75-74 lead with just 2.2 seconds left on the clock.
With so little time left the Dinos were unable to overcome the one point deficit and they were forced to settle for an extremely disappointing loss. The Dinos had solid efforts from Sonny Khangura, who recorded 11 points for the Dinos, and Brian Finniss had 12. Feist was an absolute machine, recording a game-high 27 points.
While this loss stings badly, the weekend series against the Pronghorns gave the Dinos momentum and plenty to build on heading into the final stretch of the season as they will be battling for a berth in the Canada West playoffs.
If nothing else, the Dinos can build on securing their first road win of the season with an 84-80 win Fri., Jan. 12. The first half of the game was extremely close but the Dinos were able to take a 44-41 lead thanks to Finniss' 12 first half points. The Pronghorns fought back to take a two point lead three minutes into the second half. The Dinos roared back with a 9-0 run and the Pronghorns weren't able to cut the lead to less than four points for the rest of the game.
The balanced attack of the Dinos resulted in six players recording double digits in points. Finniss finished the game with 14 points, Feist had 12, Robbie Sihota and Cody Darrah both had 13, Jeremy Odland had 10 and Bekkering had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
However, the Dinos first road win wasn't without casualties as the Dinos lost forward Sihota to an ankle sprain which occurred in the second half.
Thankfully for the Dinos, Chris Unsworth stepped in and filled the hole up front.
Having split the two-game series with the Pronghorns, the Dinos find themselves a 5-9 record on the season and their hopes at making the Canada West playoffs are alive. A two-game sweep by the Dinos would have left them in a great position, with a two-game cushion over the Pronghorns in the standings, the team they are battling with for the final playoff spot. A split still keeps the Dinos in the hunt and masters of their own fate down the stretch.
The Dinos next games are home this weekend with a game against the University of Regina Cougars on Fri., Jan. 19 and the Brandon University Bobcats on Sat., Jan. 20 and both games have 8 p.m. start times.