After going 1-3 in their first four games–including an 0-2 record at home–the Dinos basketball team finally put things together with a pair of road wins over the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.
The Dinos entered the series ranked eighth in the nation, four spots behind the T-Birds, but the rankings mean little (more on that later), as the visitors proved last weekend.
On Friday, the Dinos put together a convincing 74-60 victory, led by Leighann Doan’s 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Starting guards Linnae Bee and Cathy Payne added nine points each.
Saturday’s 62-57 score was a little closer, but never during the game did it appear the Dinos would lose. Doan again topped the Dinos with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Jill Bekar contributed 14 points.
"We hadn’t been playing well," confessed coach Shawnee Harle. "I thought we really turned a corner in the ubc series. We figured out how hard you have to work to win."
Doan gave her reasons for the turnaround.
"I guess we finally committed to what we’ve been talking about for the last two weeks," she said. "We realized we were talking about it too much, and we had to go out and play."
Harle doesn’t take the national rankings seriously. The Dinos moved up to seventh, but she realizes that many of the voters haven’t seen her team play.
"[The rankings] are very objective," said Harle. "I think we’re ranked too low. It doesn’t matter where you’re ranked. The bottom line is you have to win every time you step on the court."
Harle believes the Dinos will have a lot of momentum built up coming off such an important pair of victories.
"Both wins were very convincing," she stated. "Neither game was ever in doubt. I think momentum comes from turning our game around and on top of that from beating a good team."
Doan attributed her contribution to her solid play at both ends.
"It was the best defensively that I’ve played in a long time," she explained. "Offense takes care of itself. If I’m not contributing defensively, I shouldn’t be in, whether I’m scoring or not."
The Dinos’ next game is in the prairie paradise of Saskatoon, against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. The Dinos are a better team on paper than the Huskies, and they’re going in confident.
"We know they’re going to be tough the whole night," admitted Doan. "But I have no doubt we can go in there and sweep."