By Tommy Osborne, February 28 2017 —
On Feb. 23 and 24, the University of Calgary Dinos won back-to-back games over the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack in a best-of-three series. With the series sweep, the
Dinos move on to the Canada West Final Four and are now one step closer to reaching the U Sports playoffs. The Dinos’ victory was a solid team effort all around, but three players really stood out when lifting the team to victory.
#0 David Kapinga, third-year guard:
Kapinga carried the team on his back when the Dinos needed it the most. After squandering a 19-point lead in the third quarter, the Dinos let the WolfPack cut the lead on three separate occasions.
In the late game, Kapinga nailed an impressive layup and clutch three pointer to keep the WolfPack from taking the lead in two cases. Kapinga also scored
12 points in the fourth quarter alone to keep the WolfPack at bay. With 19 points, six rebounds, six steals and three assists, Kapinga did it all for the Dinos.
#2 Thomas Cooper, fifth-year guard:
Cooper started the game off with a bang, scoring 12 points in the first quarter and 19 by the end of the first half. His contributions gave the Dinos a significant 19-point lead heading into the second half — not surprising from last year’s Canada West top scorer.
Cooper led his team in all three major stat categories, with 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists by the end of the game. Cooper’s dominance in all three areas proved to be too much for the WolfPack.
#8 Jhony Verrone, fourth-year guard:
Verrone was a force to be reckoned with on defence. With his ability to completely neutralize his man, the WolfPack had a hard time scoring points with Verrone on the court. His ability to disrupt passing lanes and prevent the WolfPack from taking easy shots was huge. Like Kapinga, Verrone stepped up his game when it mattered the most in the fourth quarter. He had two steals for Dinos points in the fourth quarter while also adding five points, two rebounds and two assists. Overall, he finished the game with 11 points, four steals, four rebounds and four assists.
After winning both games against TRU on Feb. 23 and 24, the Dinos men’s basketball team will now move on to the Canada West final four. With these star players on their roster, expect the Dinos to put up a strong effort against the Bisons on March 3.