Men mauled again

By Kevin Rothbauer

You’d think that Head Coach Dan Vanhooren would be a little more upset after his Dinos men’s basketball team lost a pair of tilts to their arch-foes, the University of Alberta Golden Bears. But while he wasn’t exactly pleased, his comments didn’t sound like the words of a recently trounced man.

“We lost to a good team that played well,” Vanhooren admitted. “[The Bears] aren’t ranked second in the country because they’re terrible.”

Both teams got off to a bad start on Friday, but the Bears were able to shake off their funk before the Dinos could and took a weak 31-23 halftime lead. The Dinos managed to pull even at 58-58, but the Bears tore away again and sealed up a 77-70 victory.

Guard John Riad led the home team with 24 points, while Chris Wright and Aman Heran put up a dozen points apiece. Wright’s eight boards led the way for the Dinos.

On Saturday, the Dinos were at the mercy of the Bears’ remarkable guard Phil Scherer. Scherer was unstoppable, scoring 25 points in the first half on his way to 34 on the night, leading the visitors to a 95-83 win.

“Ridiculous,” laughed Riad, shaking his head. “I was talking to him during the game, and I said ‘you’ve got to cool down sometime.’ It was one of the biggest first halves I’ve ever played against.”

Riad matched his 24-point effort from the night before, Wright added 24 of his own, and Heran popped in 13, shooting four-for-nine from outside the arc. Wright’s 13 rebounds again led the way.

“Wright was dominant both nights,” Vanhooren asserted, “and he’s only in his second year. He’s going to help anchor our team for the next three years. He was the bright spot by far.”

A pair of 24-point nights is notable, but that’s expected of John Riad at this point. The coach is now looking for more than just points from the fourth-year star.

“It’s his job to score,” Vanhooren pointed out. “The last six or seven games, who’s our leading scorer every night? The points are always going to be there, but there are some things he could have done better.”

“I put up some numbers,” Riad added, “but it doesn’t matter if we lost.”

The 5-7 Dinos visit the University of Lethbridge this weekend, and a sweep of the Pronghorns is just what they’ll need to jumpstart the closing eight-game stretch. Riad is confident the Dinos will find success in the south.

“We’ll get two wins. We’ll be fine.”

Leave a comment