CAMPUS OVERVIEW: Calgary Dinos welcome MRU rivals back to b-ball

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The University of Calgary Dinos men’s basketball team will wrap up all four home games this weekend as they host rival Mount Royal University Cougars.

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The tip for 3-3 Dinos in the Crowchild Classic is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Jack Simpson Gym on Friday, followed by a rematch at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.

The Dinos have been getting a big boost from first-year guard Manyang Tong lately. Tong made the most of the increase in play last time out, shooting 71% (10 of 14) and hitting double figures in the scoring column in both contests. Not only is the homegrown product having an attacking impact, Tong also recorded eight interceptions over the weekend, including five in the final game before the winter break.

The Dinos have not only shown they aren’t shy about bringing him up behind the arc so far this season, but they’ve also had quite a bit of success. Five different Dinos rank in Canada West‘s top 20 in three-point shooting percentage, led by sophomore shooter Jackson Bayles, who has scored at least a hat-trick in all but one game so far this season.

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The Dinos increased their ball pressure last time out with high returns. In the final opener of the weekend against Alberta, Calgary had a season-high 10 interceptions to surpass that total a day later with 12 interceptions on Saturday, including five for Tong, a season-high. season.

The Cougars enter the weekend with a 4-2 record to take second place in the Canada West Central Division. Head coach Marc Dobell, a 17-year veteran, brought his club back to a winning streak after beating the Lethbridge Pronghorns in back-to-back games before the winter break.

Their top scorer is Nate Petrone with 17.3 points per game. Petrone was important for the Cougars in the first-half Finals, scoring 38 points. In the first six games of the season, he leads his team in six major categories, including total points (104), total steals (11) and baskets scored per game (6).

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The Cougars have taken a conservative approach to the floor this season, with the majority of their points coming from the key. In their last game, Mount Royal made 38 attempts to shoot into the paint against just 20 attempts from beyond the arc. Almost half of those deep shots came in the fourth quarter.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

The latest edition of the crosstown smackdown for female b-ballers comes to Jack Simpson Gym this weekend as the female Dinos (3-3) and Cougars (2-4) battle it out for bragging rights. hometown on hardwood.

Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, followed by 5 p.m. Saturday.

It will be for many athletes their first taste of the local rivalry on a young Dinos formation, including the three top scorers of the Dinos, Annacy Palmer, Pollyanna Storie and Amélie Collin. The game favored the Dinos, as they hold a 14-1 record over the Cougars all-time in Canada West.

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The Dinos have proven to be one of the best shooting teams from beyond the three-point line. They averaged 7.2 triples per game – fifth most in Canada West – while attempting 27.3 per game – third in the conference. Meanwhile, the Cougars are among the best in Canada West at guarding the three-point line, limiting their opponents to shooting 27% from behind the arc.

The Battle of Calgary returns after a long hiatus from The CW action. This weekend’s game will be the first in 2022 for the Dinos and Cougars. Both have been absent since November 27.

“Obviously it’s a tough time to get back to playing games after such a dramatic impact of COVID-19 on our program and everyone,” Dinos head coach Damian Jennings said. “But even given the uncertainty of our future and the impact on our team, we are looking forward to playing again.”

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The Cougars are a solid defensive team, leading the conference in steals, averaging 14.8 per game and preventing opponents from shooting 27% from beyond the three-point line (7th in the CW).

Mount Royal is coming off a two-game weekend against the Lethbridge Pronghorns, slipping into a four-game losing streak.

Freshman hitter Megan Wellinghurst leads the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 59.4 percent while averaging 7.3 PPG.

Jenika Martens co-leads the Cougars with 12.8 PPG.

MEN’S HOCKEY

The Dinos men’s hockey team also returns to the ice, facing one of the newest additions to the Canada West conference.

The puck drop against the Trinity Western Spartans is Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. at Father David Bauer Arena.

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It’s been a busy winter break for a trio of Dinos as they were selected to the 2021 U SPORTS Men’s Hockey All-Star List to face Hockey Canada’s World Junior prospects. Kaden Elder, Jake Gricius and Calgary captain Ryan Gagnon – who was scheduled to compete at the 2021 FISU Winter Universiade in Switzerland before it was canceled – all faced off against world junior prospects. Gricius, only in his first year with the Dinos, had one goal and one assist in the two-game series.

The Dinos finished the first half of the season ranked fourth in the conference after splitting their final weekend against the Regina Cougars. However, only four points separate Calgary’s fourth place and second place in the nine-team race.

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Dinos head coach Mark Howell spoke about the need for his team to find consistency throughout the fall. The Dinos will be looking to start fresh and find that consistency in the second half of their season as they look to catch up with the best teams in the conference. Calgary split all but one series in the fall semester, winning a sweep over the MacEwan Griffins in early November.

The Spartans are 1-11 for ninth place in Canada West action, with Brayden Brown leading the team with four goals and one assist.

Trinity Western is a new addition to Canada West Hockey this season.

The Spartans were one of the best teams in the BCIHL before making the jump to Canada West.

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