By Scott Lepp
While University of Calgary students had a couple of weeks to relax and get ready for the second semester, Head Coach Shawnee Harle’s women’s basketball squad was working off the holiday turkey and getting ready for the Calgary Hoops Classic held Dec. 29-31. This was an all-important opportunity for the Dinos to prove to outer-conference rivals they were for real. The Dinos opened play on Friday night against the University of Toronto.
The Dinos were ready and primed for this battle as their offence shot 50 per cent throughout the game and their defence held three of the Toronto starters scoreless for the duration of the first half. At the half, the Dinos held a solid 45-27 lead as Natalie Hudec sparked the team with 10 points. The Dinos coasted in the second half on their way to a 72-58 victory over Toronto.
Game two presented the Dinos with an opportunity to boost their national ranking but first they had to defeat the favoured University of Regina squad. Harle’s Dinos were ready to meet the challenge as they jumped out to a 45-35 half-time lead, led by All-Canadian Leighann Doan. The second half featured more typical Dinos basketball as they held and added to their lead. The Dinos came out with a huge victory in very impressive fashion as they destroyed Regina 90-71. Doan had another huge game with 26 points and 9 boards. Sarah Williams also had a big shooting game, ending up with 16 points in only 15 minutes.
With Regina out of the picture the Dinos now had to focus on the final against the University of Laval.
However, the Dinos couldn’t continue their winning streak as they were outplayed by Laval. The game was very close as Laval only led by five at the half. The Dinos just couldn’t close the gap and would have to settle for second place in the Hoops Classic, eventually falling to Laval by a score of 80-73. Doan led all scorers with 28 points while Jennifer Goldade had a big game, chipping in 17.
Harle was impressed with her team’s performance during the holiday.
"I think we played our best basketball of the season," she said. Her smile then turned to a very stern look as she pointed out, "Except against Laval."
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