Dinos easily roll over Pronghorns

Coach Shawnee Harle acknowledged that the only team the women’s basketball Dinos had to beat last weekend was themselves. If putting up their highest scores of the season counts, then her team passed with flying colours.

Playing on the road against possibly the nation’s worst team, the only thing the Dinos really had to worry about was arriving at the University of Lethbridge gymnasium on time. On Friday, the Dinos chalked up a 98-40 victory, followed by a 106-53 win on Saturday.

"It wasn’t about beating Lethbridge," said Harle, following the victories. "It was about beating us."

A number of players contributed solid statistical efforts in the Windy City. Leighann Doan led the team in points both nights, with 25 and 27, respectively. Jill Bekar added 16 on Friday, and Laura Fleming dropped in 13. Fleming followed Doan with 18 points on Saturday, while Bekar and Jennifer Goldade had 16 each. Doan had 14 rebounds on Friday, and Fleming led the team with 12 on Saturday.

Fleming was only one of many notable players who came off the Dinos’ bench to have stellar games in Lethbridge.

"We got great contributions from the bench," stated Harle. "It was nice to see that when they’re given the opportunity they rise to the occasion. [Fleming] hasn’t had many minutes in the last seven games, but it’s great to see that when her number was called she was ready to play."

Fleming admitted she was surprised to get the call on Saturday.

"I was so nervous," she said, "But it’s easier once you get in the flow."

The first-year post player’s family nearly missed seeing her first start in a Dinos jersey.

"They weren’t going to come, but I was like, ‘Dad, I’m starting!’"

Harle used her bench liberally over the two games, demonstrating the number of weapons the Dinos can use when they are needed.

"We know we can’t beat good teams with just five players," she said. "The more depth we have, the better we’ll be as a team."

Harle reiterated how pleased she was with the way the Dinos didn’t stoop to the Pronghorns’ level.

"The thing I’m most happy about is that we came ready to play even though the other team was 1-11."

According to Doan, the team took a few minutes to truly realize what they were up against.

"On Friday, we came out in a rush," she said. "Once we settled down in the second half, we were more able to play our style. Saturday was much better. The younger [players] got more playing time, which is good experience for them."

With such a dearth of talent, the Pronghorns had to result to a more physical style of play, which the Dinos don’t often encounter in other Canada West opponents. Even though valuable contributors Alison McGinn (concussion) and Rena Carriere (knee) were lost to the Dinos on Saturday, they persevered.

"We played good as a team, even with the injuries and stuff," said Doan." It was a good experience to play against a scrappier team."

The Dinos now have 11 wins on the season, one more than last year’s total. Their 11-3 record gives them sole possession of second place in the Canada West conference.

The Dinos’ next opponents are the Brandon University Bobcats. At 3-11, the ‘Cats are barely better than the Pronghorns, but inconsistent officiating might help the hosts out.

"They’re tough to beat in their gym," said Harle. "The officiating can be quite liberal, so we expect to have a fight on our hands. Again, the competition is us, not Brandon.

"One good thing about Lethbridge is that they prepared us for Brandon. We’ll be going into a hostile environment, we’ll be playing against a team that hasn’t won many games; that’s what we just faced."

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