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Dinos women’s basketball struggle in 59–62 loss to Thunderbirds

By Tommy Osborne, November 7 2017 — 

On Nov. 4, the University of Calgary women’s basketball team hosted the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in the Jack Simpson Gym. After dominating the Thunderbirds 64–35 on Nov. 3, the Dinos were primed for another victory. However, the tumultuous back-and-forth game featured six lead changes. Ultimately UBC prevailed 62–59 with an amazing 35-point performance from Thunderbirds guard Maddison Penn that dropped the Dinos to 3–1 on the season.

Both teams struggled offensively and failed to establish consistent rhythm in the first quarter. The Thunderbirds played a fierce defence, trying to redeem their 29-point loss on Nov. 3. However, the Dinos defence was equally energetic, forcing shot-clock violations and disorienting UBC. Despite shooting at only 30 per cent, the Dinos were down a hopeful 15–13 by the end of the first.

The second quarter featured the Dinos’ aggressive defence but also their missed chances on offence. They spread the ball more effectively and achieved three assists, improving on their first-quarter performance. While this opened up the offence, the Thunderbird’s stifling defence prevented them from capitalizing on their few scoring opportunities. By the end of the second, the game was tied 27–27.

In the third quarter, the Dinos found their offensive stride. They nearly matched their score total for the entire first half with 23 points. Dinos head coach Damian Jennings credited the improved offence to the team’s speed.

“I think that ultimately the pace of play and our desire to actually get that ball moving a little quicker and earlier just gave us a couple more waves and opportunities,” he said.

Third-year kinesiology major and guard/forward Erin McIntosh played resiliently in the third quarter. She aggressively collected three rebounds and sunk five points. After being fouled on a layup, she converted a three-point play and facilitated more open looks for Dinos, helping secure a trio of three-pointers. This offensive outburst gave the Dinos a 50–46 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Unfortunately, the Dinos couldn’t sustain this offensive momentum. Fifth-year kinesiology major and guard/forward Brianna Ghali relentlessly tried to salvage the game, scoring seven of the Dinos’ nine points in the closing quarter. Despite her efforts, the quarter was tied with the team’s lowest-scoring quarter this season. Jennings says that the frantic desire and fight to win stunted effective decision-making on the court.

“I think ultimately today’s disappointment was based around collectively chasing winning as opposed to a performance that’s going to give you the result of winning,” Jennings said. “For us, it’s less about getting back to a win — we know that a win will look after itself when we perform — it’s us getting back to a performance. We’ll have to do that in training and of course we’ll do our best to make those adaptations.”

The Dinos look to get back in the win column against the University of Winnipeg Wesmen on Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. in the Jack Simpson Gym. Students can attend for free and come and go at their leisure.  


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