For most of the season thus far, the Dinos women's basketball team has played a so-so game on Friday, followed by a stellar effort on Saturday. Last weekend, when the Dinos hosted the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, it was the same story. The Dinos lost 70-61 on Friday, then came back and clobbered the visitors 88-78 the following night.
"Friday, we played like a young, inexperienced group of players," said Dinos Head Coach Shawnee Harle. "On Saturday, we did a good job of righting ourselves and responding to the challenges and we played our best basketball of the year."
Second-year guard Tanya Hautala agreed.
"On Friday we were really disjointed," she said. "We couldn't get anything going. On Saturday, we were just committed to changing the way we played on Friday. Everybody just came together, we were a different team."
Coming behind from a 41-35 halftime deficit, the Dinos' 53 points in the second half represent the biggest 20-minute effort of any Canada West women's team yet this season.
"Even though we were down, I liked how we played in the first half," Harle commented. "The greatest thing about our team is that they really are fighters. In the second half we fought our way back in."
Individually, Hautala led the Dinos on Friday with 17 points, while Anna Bekkering chipped in 14. On Saturday, Shari Jonker's 20 points led five Dinos in double digits, including Lindsay Maundrell (18), Bekkering (16), Jessica Foltinek (14) and Hautala (11). Maundrell added eight rebounds, while Foltinek showed her multidimensional game with seven rebounds, four assists and an astonishing five blocks.
The Dinos played both nights without post Cory Bekkering, one of their top rebounders and toughest players. She'll be out approximately six weeks, most of which will be taken up by the winter break.
From Dec. 27-29, the Dinos will host their annual Holiday Hoops tournament, this time bringing in worthy opponents from the universities of Toronto, Laval, Windsor, Regina and Alberta.
"This is the third year of the tournament and we've felt for the last three years that this will be the best tournament in the country this year," Harle enthused.