Ballers in close race

By Lee Bogle and Sean Nyilassy

Fans of Canada West basketball got their wish Jan. 21-22. Anything can happen now in the last six games of the regular season between the third and tenth positions across the western divisions. These eight teams will be cat fighting for one of the remaining six playoff spots, but more importantly, good position.

However we are not purists, nor are the transient fans who care only about the “W”–and we aren’t talking about bush. To their dismay, the lady Dinos dropped two matches to the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, giving them a helping hand into the race for a playoff spot.

Friday night saw the Dinos trying to fight back from deficits all night like Canada throughout the ’90s. Like the Spice Girls after “Wannabe,” the Dinos fought for a winner, but couldn’t come up with one. The game was tied on three separate occasions, but three Pronghorn treys within thirty seconds thrice put the Dinos away. Like Southeast Asia, the Dinos weren’t able to recover from a devastating blow quickly enough. The U of L left the night with a 72-65 win.

“We played so tough,” lamented Head Coach Shawnee Harle. “Lethbridge hit a couple of big threes at crucial times and we weren’t able to answer.”

While four Pronghorns broke the double-digit seal, only Cory Bekkering and co-captain Tanya Hautala managed over ten points for the Dinos with 12 and 23 respectively. Co-captain Lindsay Maundrell was a strong defensive force, hauling down 13 boards.

“We played better than last weekend,” explained Maundrell.

On Saturday, despite a similar start to the previous night’s game, the Dinos saw a glimpse of hope when they took a 17-15 lead with just over ten minutes to play in the first half. The following minutes saw the Dinos cling to a lead as slim as Calista Flockhart in her heyday. The U of L managed to earn themselves two ties before the final buzzer, which is when it became interesting.

With the score drawn at 65 with 1:05 to play, you could cut the intensity with a dull spoon. The U of L struck at the 40-second mark and again from the charity strip with just 13 seconds to play, bringing the score to 68-65. Unfortunately for our ladies, that’s where the score remained.

Hautala was again the top Dinos scorer with 14. Maundrell added 13 points and seven rebounds while Bekkering hit for ten points and nine boards. The Pronghorns again managed to put four ladies into double figures.

The Dinos get a statistically easy chance to better their record against the 1-13 Trinity Western University Spartans Sat., Jan. 29, but before they do, they will meet the country’s top-ranked team. The Simon Fraser University Clan makes an appearance in Calgary Fri., Jan. 28. Both games begin at 6 p.m. in the Jack Simpson Gymnasium. Hautala promises quite a show.

“We’ve gotta come out and play with no fear,” she threatened. “We’re expected to lose so we have the least pressure on us.”

Hopefully, their spiffy new shoe accessories can help them take out the Clan.

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