The Dinos basketball teams played their final games of the semester against the Brandon University Bobcats in back-to-back home games on Nov. 29–30. The women’s team snuck out of the first game with a close 66–64 on a clutch buzzer-beating shot by fifth-year guard Tamara Jarrett. In game two, the Dinos sent the Bobcats home with their tails between their legs, winning 73–53.
“I’m really pleased with finishing 2013 with two wins at home,” said head coach Damien Jennings.
Game one featured a shootout between Jarrett — who scored 31 points — and Bobcats guard Cassie Cooke, who finished with an astounding 39 points.
In game two, the Dinos came out with a scrappy defensive first quarter, exemplified by the play of Jarrett. Early on Jarrett ripped the ball away from a Bobcats player and drove through the open court to get the ball to a wide open Kristie Sheils, who knocked down a wide open three-point shot. By the end of the first half the Dinos were up 39–25.
Third-year guard Ashley Hirons opened up the third quarter by hitting a three-point shot. Hirons led the way for the Dinos with 15 points in the game, which all came from the three-point range.
“I just have confidence to shoot the ball,” said Hirons. “Damien gave me that confidence that if you’re open in transition to just shoot it.”
The fourth quarter saw the Bobcats go on a mini 8–0 run against the Dinos, forcing Jennings to call a time out. After regaining their composure, the Dinos went on to finish the game with a 20-point lead in what was an overall team win, with four Dinos scoring in the double digits.
“It was more of a team effort today,” said Sheils.
After starting the season 0–2, the Dinos are confident going into the second half of the season on an impressive eight-game win streak.
“We were just thinking of winning over the crowd,” said Sheils of her team’s attitude coming into the season. “People will go away thinking that we have a great future because we’re very young. So in 2014 we’re going to come out even harder. If we come first you can’t ask for any more than that, and it would be great if we get to host Canada West [playoffs] like we did last year.”
The Dinos women’s team are tied for first place in the Prairie division with a record of 8–2.
On the men’s side, the Dinos got some great play from reigning Canadian Interuniversity Sport athlete of the week Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, who lit up the twine for 28 points. The Dinos shot 51 per cent from the field to win the game 89–77.
In game two, the Dinos saw their five-game winning streak come to an end after losing a tight game to the Bobcats 65–61.
The Dinos got off to a good start, going up 19–12, but weren’t able to hold on to the lead in the end.
“I thought early on we played well and we steadily built a good lead,” said head coach Dan Vanhooren. “From there, we stopped doing the things that got us there, and it resulted in a loss.”
Matt Letkeman led the way for the Dinos with some workhorse play, racking up a solid 17 points and 14 rebounds.
“The one thing you control is your work ethic, and I feel that’s what God has given me, so I’m just going to go out there and do whatever I can for the team in that manner,” said Letkeman.
The fourth quarter went down to the wire. As both teams traded control of the lead, it was the late game free-throw shooting of the Bobcats that secured them their second win of the season.
Vanhooren felt the Dinos took too many outside shots, leading to their demise.
“We can’t live and die by shooting jump shots,” said Vanhooren. “We have won some games that way, but the guys got a lesson in real basketball today — just because we shot ourselves in the foot by shooting a lot of jump shots.”
The Dinos men’s team are currently in fifth in the Prairie division with a record of 5–5.