The Dinos men’s basketball team took a pre-season trip to Ontario and came back with a 1-2 record.
The trip started Thur., Oct. 12 in Hamilton at the McMaster University Marauders. The Dinos put themselves into a 43-31 hole in the first half with 17 turnovers, 11 of them Marauder steals. Early in the second half, the Dinos were down 50-33, before scoring eight consecutive points and pulling within nine of the hometown Marauders. The gap widened until a late charge with five minutes remaining when the Dinos closed the gap to just a basket. The score was 77-75 with 1:36 to play. That was as close as the Dinos would come; the score finished 85-77 in favour of McMaster.
“We weren’t happy with [the turnovers],” said Dinos head coach Dan Vanhooren. “It’s about making adjustments and not putting players in uncomfortable situations where they will be more likely to turn the ball over. That being said, even though 24 turnovers in a game is bad, we were within two points [near the end].”
Four Dinos earned double digit points despite the loss.
The second game pitted the Dinos against the Brock University Badgers Fri., Oct. 13 in St. Catherine’s. Things started out better for the Dinos, with an even 38-38 scoreline at the half. But the Dinos could not match the Badgers’ hot three-point shooting. The Badgers basketed 40 per cent of their attempts.
The score finished 88-79 in the second straight loss for the Dinos. Turnovers again were a problem, with the Dinos losing the ball 19 times to the Badgers’ 13.
“We made similar mistakes as the night before,” noted Vanhooren. “[However,] we gradually played better with every game.”
The Dinos finally found success Sat., Oct. 14 against the University of Guelph Gryphons in an 82-71 victory. The game was again tied at 38 at the intermission, and stayed close until the final two minutes of play. The Dinos expanded a three-point lead to 11 with four straight baskets.
“We played much better [at Guelph],” said Vanhooren. “Defensively, we allowed only 71 points. If we’re going to win games, we can’t give up 80 plus points.”