A Friday night fight spilled out into a Saturday night shellacking for the Dinos last weekend, as our women b-ballers improved their record to 1-3 after the first two home games of the season.
It began Fri., Nov. 10 with a tough 94-84 loss to the second-ranked Simon Fraser University Clan, and finished Sat., Nov. 18 with a 101-79 dismemberment of the perennial basement-dwelling Trinity Western University Spartans.
The Dinos held their own against the Clan Friday, but failed to close the three point gap which separated the teams with three minutes to play in the fourth quarter. The veteran SFU team elicited the composure that won them the division title last year and buried timely baskets that put the game out of reach for the struggling dinosaurs.
"We're giving up too many points," Dinos head coach Shawnee Harle said in Tuesday's practice. "We were okay against Trinity Western, but not against the best teams in the league [like Simon Fraser University]."
But despite losing the home opener, our women showed off an offence that can trade baskets with the best teams in the country. The Dinos racked up 185 points on the weekend, 101 of those in their first win of the season over the Spartans. Lindsay Maundrell dominated the match by scoring almost a third of her team's points. The Dino captain drained all nine of her shots from the free-throw line, and finished with a game-leading 28 points.
"I didn't feel like I was scoring that much, [I knew] I hit all my free throws," said Maundrell with a shrug. "I struggled Friday. I had no finish. I finished better on Saturday, and I guess that was the difference."
What a difference a day can make. The Armstrong, B.C. native netted a mild 12 points in 33 minutes in Friday's home opener, and piled up her game leading 28 in as many minutes against TWU. It could be just a coincidence, but the captain, who has adopted Calgary as her new hometown, was hosting a special pair of house guests on the weekend.
"My parents were in town visiting last weekend," she said, refusing to admit they might have been the source for her inspirational performance. "[I just think] that we don't have a problem scoring right now."
Unfortunately, defensive lapses have been haunting Calgary in all four games this season, as Calgary has given up an average of 88 points per game in its last three games. Harle has begun to shift the focus of practices to reflect this weakness.
"Our defense is too individualistic," said Harle. "The game is supposed to have all five players stopping the ball, right now it's one. We have the potential to be very good defensively, [but right now] I wouldn't pick anyone out as a good defender on our team. Improvement on the defensive end is going to determine our season."
Hopefully, the Dinos will pull together defensively before Nov. 17-18 back-to-back games against the 1-3 Lethbridge Pronghorns. They should be good practice, as the Pronghorns have the worst record and third lowest points-per-game average in the Canada West conference. However, Harle is careful not to underestimate her opponent.
"We play in the toughest conference in the country, there are no easy games," she stressed. "We're the better team, and we should win both games. But it doesn't matter what I think, I'm not on the floor. It matters what the players think, and if they're willing to walk the talk."
With their first win under their belt, an offence that is burning up the floor, and a team captain that is on fire, the Dinos should be at .500 by the end of next weekend, barring a complete defensive meltdown.