Basketsaurs continue streak

"I’ve always thought this team had potential," said Dinos guard Cathy Payne before last weekend’s two-game series with the University of Alberta Pandas. "But potential doesn’t mean anything until it’s realized."

The Dinos had their best opportunity this season to demonstrate their potential, playing their arch-rivals at home. The Pandas entered the series with a 9-1 record, slightly ahead of the Dinos’ 7-3, but weren’t necessarily favoured. Still, the Pandas had won their previous nine meetings with the Dinos, including playoff and exhibition match-ups.

The Dinos struggled in the first half of Friday’s game, trailing by seven points at the half, but turned things around completely in the second stanza. Leighann Doan scored 12 of her 27 points, Linnae Bee scored all of her 10 and Cathy Payne added eight as the Dinos soared to a 80-65 victory, highlighted by an astounding 25-0 run.

On Saturday, the Dinos took control from the start and came through with an 81-71 win as Doan poured in 30 points. Alison McGinn and Jennifer Goldade added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Doan’s performance, which included 23 rebounds over the two games, garnered her the Canada West Universities Athletic Union Athlete of the Week award, the third time in six weeks of eligibility this season that Doan has won the award.

The two wins moved the Dinos into a tie with Alberta for second place in the conference behind the University of Victoria Vikes. The Dinos also moved up from seventh to fourth in the national rankings.

"I’m pleased [with the wins], but not surprised," said Dinos coach Shawnee Harle. "We’ve been coming on for a couple of weeks. I knew we could sweep them, but knowing it and doing it are two very different things."

"We proved how well we can play against a good team," added Goldade. "Everyone did their job."

Harle echoed Payne’s comments about the team’s potential and how it has finally turned into reality.

"I’ve been saying all year long that we’re a very good team, but saying that doesn’t mean anything until your record can back up what you’re saying."

Although two 80-point games represent a remarkable offensive effort, Harle attributed the victories primarily to the team’s work in their own end, especially after the nearly disastrous first half on Friday.

"We just tried to focus on loosening up on offense and committing to team defense."

Harle thought that the 25-0 run in the second half symbolized the Dinos’ defensive superiority.

"Everybody focuses on the 25 points, but to me the amazing thing was defense. You can’t go on any kind of run if you’re not playing defense."

Goldade agreed with Harle.

"A 25-0 run is the best show you can get for your defense," said the third-year guard.

Goldade put in one of the best two-way performances of the weekend, scoring 21 points and 16 rebounds while helping to neutralize star Pandas Jackie Simon and Sara Armstong.

This weekend, the Dinos will visit the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns. The ‘Horns are traditionally seen as pushovers in the Canada West conference, and their 1-13 record this year hasn’t helped their reputation.

"The competition next weekend will be against ourselves," said Harle. "The challenge will be to play at the high level that we’re always aspiring to, rather than to play down to the level of the competition."

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