The University of Calgary basketball ladysaurs continued their preparation for the regular season with one final preseason tournament at Dalhousie University this past weekend.
With only nine players available thanks to injuries, there was plenty of playing time to go around.
"We were able to accomplish wins as well as evaluation and playing time, since we only have ten players on our roster," said Dinos coach Shawnee Harle. "One of them didn't dress this weekend due to an ankle injury. [There was] lots of playing time for everybody."
Playing time is typically the primary goal of pre-season, as player evaluation and regular season preparation is paramount. That being said, Harle does insist that, regardless of the situation, wins are always important.
For the second straight weekend, the team took two out of three weekend draws. With wins against St. Francis Xavier (93-55) and Saint Mary's (81-75) the only setback came courtesy of the Maritimer hosts, the Dalhousie Tigers (77-72). With only 55 points allowed versus St. Francis and another strong defensive showing against Saint Mary's, Harle was very complementary of the team's defensive play.
"We played tough defence in two out of three games," she said. "I thought our defence won the game for us against St. Mary's."
Knowing that defence will indeed be a priority if the Dinos hope to make an impact in the Canada West conference, Harle has made it well-known to her players the importance of playing and thinking on both sides of the ball.
"We have been preaching tough defence since the beginning of the season," she noted. "It's important that our players have that confidence that on nights when the ball isn't going into the hoop, our defence will hold us in there."
With strong defensive play and a looming regular season opener in mind, the Dinos were certainly happy to return home from Halifax.
"Our venue is a million times nicer," she gloated. "We have one of the best venues in the country."