A pair of home games Feb. 11-12 marked the end of the regular season for the Dinos men's basketball team. They split the final games, experiencing their first loss at home to the Brandon University Bobcats and taking an easy win over the University of Regina Cougars. The Dinos finished second in the Mountain Division with 12 wins and eight losses.
The game against the Bobcats on Friday was tight like the lid on a pickle jar. The lead flip-flopped back and forth throughout the game, which saw Brandon leading by two at the half. The major turning point in the game was the last 64 seconds of play, when Chris "long socks" Wright brought the Dinos back within two points of the Bobcats. After exciting turnovers on both sides, a Dinos' foul gave the Bobcats two charity points. The final score was 71-67.
Wright had 25 points and seven rebounds. Surinder "I surrender" Grewal followed closely with 21 points. The Dinos shot at 55 per cent from beyond the arc on 11 attempts while the Bobcats hit for a lowly 35 per cent on 26 attempts. You would hope at that point they would stop trying, but they didn't.
Saturday's game was easy, like a cougar. The Dinos led solidly 42-23 at the half. At their best in the second half, the Cougars came within 16 points of the Dinos, but were never really a threat. The final score was 85-67, leaving the Cougars de-clawed.
This was Ian Ferguson's final regular season game. He stepped up with 13 points and five rebounds. Wright had a deadly double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Grewal hauled down 18 points and Josh "feisty" Feist added 13.
"I think we're in a favourable position," Dinos Head Coach Dan VanHooren said. "We obviously preferred to win both games, but that's the way the ball bounces."
The Dinos host those bastards we love to hate, the University of Alberta Golden Bears, in Canada West semi-final action Feb. 18-20. VanHooren gave the Bears a generous estimation.
"They're a good team, but so are we," he admitted. "It's important for us to play well because they're a team that can beat us."
If the Dinos' history foreshadows their future, things look good. They have a 9-1 record at home and defeated the U of A four times this year. The semi-final is a best of three series. The games run Fri., Feb. 18 and Sat., Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. If necessary, the third game will be Sun., Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. All games are in the Jack Simpson Gymnasium. The University of Saskatchewan Huskies are waiting at home for the winner of the contest.