Streak: broken. Hopes: still truckin’

While the Dinos women’s basketball team may not have played to the best of their abilities Jan. 13-14, the University of Alberta Pandas lacked the ability to snag both wins. The Dinos were 11 games into a winning streak, and improving each weekend, before the Pandas paid their annual visit to the Jack Simpson Gymnasium.

Friday night’s game, while in the books a success, saw a less inspired Dinos team than fans have come to expect. The lead changed hands like money in a drug ring during the first half. Though the Dinos managed a 38-37 lead at the half, an 8-0 Pandas run early in the second half swung things back the other way.

Each team was ahead a couple more times before the Dinos seized the lead for good with just over eight minutes to play. But unlike past Dinos performances, they didn’t run away with this lead. The Pandas managed to stay close, with the final score of 80-74 not making any statement of the Dinos’ true superiority.

“We won on Friday and didn’t feel we played as well as we should have,” commented Lindsay Maundrell.

“We gutted it out on Friday and found a way to win,” echoed Tanya Hautala. “But both nights were not great.”

Maundrell drained 24 points for the Dinos, hitting 10 of 14 from the field. Tanya Hautala added 17 points and three steals while Michelle Willson led in rebounds with nine. As a team, the Dinos shot a solid 50.9 per cent from the field, besting the Pandas’ 40 per cent.

The teams traded the lead again on Saturday, although the pattern this eve was more similar to young kids trading Pokemon cards than drug money changing hands. How? Don’t ask questions, just believe. While the Dinos sat atop a comfortable 24-31 throne with less than seven minutes to play in the first, they were overthrown by an 11-0 Pandas run. They managed to regain consciousness early enough to recover to a 35-37 halftime lead.

This was to last as long as an impatient teenaged boy’s first time. The Pandas snatched the lead back in just over a minute, lending it back to the Dinos just once for the remainder of the second half. The Pandas finished ahead 82-72. Just to clarify, I meant an impatient teenager’s first time trying to solve a Rubik’s cube, invented by Erno Rubik in the 1970s.

“We won 12 games in a row. That’s pretty darn good,” smiled Head Coach Shawnee Harle despite the loss. “But such is life. That’s the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

Maundrell again led the Dinos with 18 points, adding three steals. Courtney Coyle and Hautala netted 15 and 13 points respectively in the losing cause. The Dinos dropped to 38.7 per cent from the floor while the Pandas improved to 47.5.

The Dinos get a weekend to rest before heading west in a quest to test the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack, Canada West’s newest, in a two-game contest Jan. 27-28. The Dinos have more practice time to invest. But who is the best and who is a pest? Who has the most zest? Who brushes their teeth with Crest? Are the Dinos a welcome guest in their nest? Will their gym be repossessed? Do you get my jest? Lest we forget, this paragraph is messed.

In any case, the Dinos will look to get back on the winning side of the coin against the 2-11 WolfPack.

“We’re going to keep getting better,” said Harle of the plans for the weekend off. “It’s a great group of players. They’re all committed to getting better.”

Despite the WolfPack’s record, both Dinos coaches and players expect a tough fight.

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