The men’s b-ballasaurs bounced back from back-to-back losses in B.C. the previous weekend with consecutive wins on home court Nov. 10-11. The Simon Fraser University Clan came to town looking for a win Fri., Nov. 10, and were sent home with an 84-66 loss. Saturday the Trinity Western University Spartans were hoping the Dinos would forget what had gone right the night before, and that they’d be able to succeed where the Clan had failed. Instead, the Dinos downed the Spartans in a 100-91 come-from-behind win.
In the first half, the Dinos couldn’t get anything right, turning the ball over on offence and allowing penetration into the paint on defence. The result was the visitors leading by as much as 23 at times, and 51-33 at half.
“They’re a small quick team, and they really rely on dribble penetration,” said head coach Dan Vanhooren. “We struggled to defend them. I thought our kids came out a little flat. We turned the ball over 25 times in the first. There’s no way we should be on the same floor when we’re doing that. Quite honestly, they deserved an even bigger lead than they had at the half.”
Turnovers were the story of the first half, as the Dinos continually gave
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up the ball, including during a 21 point run by the Spartans. While the Spartans were running up the score, the Dinos committed seven turnovers and missed all seven shots they took.
“It starts with intense defence,” said second-year guard Tony Dhaliwal. “We came out lackadaisical in the first half. We weren’t playing D.”
The second half started with much of the same, with the Dinos committing three turnovers and allowing the visitors to build a 21 point lead. But all that changed with 16 minutes remaining. A Ross Bekkering free-throw kicked off a 14 point run for the Dinos. For five minutes, the Dinos were on fire. Between Bekkering’s free-throw and the 10 minute mark, the Dinos outscored their opponents 29-2, including two points from a massive Bekkering dunk which saw him drive in from the baseline and put one overtop of a Spartan opponent.
The Dinos built a six point advantage, and never surrendered the lead for the remainder of the game. Saturday’s 100-91 victory over the Spartans was the Dinos second of the season and second in as many nights.
Dhaliwal, who scored 12 points–11 of which came in the second half–was named player of the match for his efforts.
“The first thing [coach Vanhooren said at half] was, ‘You guys are going to get enough possessions to get back into this game,'” said Dhaliwal. “[In the second half] our full-court press just gave it to them. We sorta gave them a taste of their own medicine, they pressed us, and we pressed them.”
“The rule of thumb from a coaching perspective is to press a pressing team,” noted Vanhooren. “We just needed an opportunity to do it, and once we go to the foul line and set up, we could do it. When our starting point guard is having an off night, and, quite frankly, not playing very well at all, it’s really nice to know we’ve got a kid coming off the bench that can come out there and mentally get the job done. I’m thrilled for [Dhaliwal].”
Dhaliwal had eight assists with no turnovers to go with his 12 points in just 17 minutes of playing time. The Dinos were lead by Bekkering, who put up 22 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double.
“Both [Bekkering and Joe Schow] are big kids with good athleticism,” said Vanhooren. “Obviously Ross is a pretty difficult kid to handle when he’s got the ball six feet away from the rim. I thought they did a better job second half dealing with some of the pressure coming up the floor.”