Dinos upset T-Birds to end five-game slide

By Jon Roe

The women’s basketball team broke a five-game losing streak in style Saturday at the Jack Simpson Gym.

Behind 25 points, including seven three-pointers, from Ashley Hill, they upset the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds 71-66 to move to 7-8 and a tie for fifth place in the Canada West’s Prairie Division with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns. The T-Birds dropped to 10-4 with the loss.

Head coach Shawnee Harle said it was a huge win for her young Dinos team, which featured only two players with more than a year of experience in Canadian Interuniversity Sport at the start of the season.

“The thing that was really neat for me, I was watching them on the floor in the last three minutes, I really felt like we were going to win,” Harle said after the win. “I think they felt like they were going to win. I felt like our huddles were tight. I felt like our communication was meaningful.”

The Dinos won despite being out rebounded 52-41, including allowing the T-Birds to grab 20 offensive boards, and giving the T-Birds 38 trips to the charity-stripe. On average, the T-Birds were an inch taller across the line-up and featured six players over six feet tall. Only two players that dressed for the Dinos were over six feet.

“We just had no answer, no answer for their size at all,” said Harle. “. . . We had to be aggressive. Sometimes that leads to more fouls than you would like. When you look at those stats, we got out rebounded badly. They went to the free throw line at least double what we did. And we still found a way to win. Life’s not fair, get used to it.”

The T-Birds outscored the Dinos 26-9 from the free throw line, but couldn’t muster much other offence. They shot .161 in the second half, going 5-31.

The top four teams from the Prairie Division qualify for the playoffs and a crossover rule allows either the fifth place team of the Prairie Division or the fourth place team from the Pacific to qualify as well. The fourth place team in the Pacific is the 3-11 Thompson Rivers Wolfpack, virtually assuring that the final playoff team will come from the Prairie division this year.

The Dinos are tied with the Pronghorns for fifth, and play them on the final weekend of the regular season. They take on the top team in the division, the 12-2 University of Regina Cougars, at home this weekend.

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