One team was dynamite from beyond the three-point line, while the other couldn’t get a shot to drop from long-range. The University of Calgary Dinos made 17 three’s to the University of Northern British Columbia’s one, paving the way for a 92-55 Dinos victory on Saturday, February 16 in Calgary, Alberta.
“That is one of the best teams in Canada, in our first time in the quarterfinals,” said UNBC coach Sergey Shchepotkin. “It is okay to lose to them, and a good experience. I truly believe over the next few years, playoff games against good teams like this will be the norm for us.”
The first quarter was nearly identical to the opening frame on Friday, with the Dinos applying their signature high-intensity press. UNBC did a better job advancing the ball, but were unable to create much offensively. Calgary continued to shoot the ball well from long-range, going four-for-eight from three-point range, and led 22-10 after ten minutes.
Treys continued to be the story in the second quarter. For UNBC, it was a tale of missed opportunities, while the Dinos continued their torrid pace beyond the arc. When the buzzer sounded to mark the end of the half, U of C were 8-for-16, while the TWolves were 0-for-8. Madison Landry was fighting to get to the paint, managing 10 first half points, while the Dinos were paced by Liene Stalidzane, who had nine.
“That is how their team is built. They have found a lot of good shooters, and they play really well in their gym,” said Shchepotkin. “They were on fire, and it is really tough to stop them. They did a great job and we have things to work on.”
In the third quarter, UNBC’s shooting woes continued, as they were unable to convert a number of good looks. The Dinos did a good job of containing Canada West All-Star Vasiliki Louka, and the Timberwolves didn’t make the home side pay for doubling their post in the paint. Calgary made four more three-pointers in the quarter, while the TWolves managed nine points, leading to a 72-32 score after three frames.
The fourth quarter was unlikely to have much impact on the final outcome, but it did allow the TWolves to show their heart and willingness to battle. Maria Mongomo’s three-pointer at 6:30 of the frame was the first and only trey of the game for UNBC, but the underdogs battled to win the quarter 23-19.
“It is good we didn’t give up,” said UNBC’s Shchepotkin. “Our young players played well, like Alexis Magrath and Lucy Guan. That is good for our future.”
With the victory, Calgary advances to the Canada West semifinals where they will take on the Regina Cougars.
Calgary was well-balanced on the scoresheet, led by a 15-point performance off the bench for Reyna Crawford. Kiki Knox had 12 points and nine rebounds, while Liene Stalidzane and Erin McIntosh both reached double-figures.
Madison Landry was the high scorer for UNBC with 20 points, while Mongomo had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Vasiliki Louka had eight points and 11 rebounds.
This marks the final game in Timberwolves colours for graduating seniors Vasiliki Louka and Abby Gibb.
“There was a lot of tears, as you saw,” said Shchepotkin postgame. “I am sad that these two talented athletes have finished their career. I want to thank them very much.”