CALGARY – The University of Alberta Pandas rebounded from a 22-point loss at home Thursday night to hand the University of Calgary Dinos just their second loss of the season, 78-69 Saturday in the Jack Simpson Gym.
Alberta improves to 15-3 with the victory, while dropping the Dinos to 16-2.
Alberta opened the first quarter with an 11-2 run. Calgary responded and both teams battled back and forth with the Pandas holding the edge until the last second of the period, when Calgary tied the quarter thanks to a half-court lob from fourth-year guard Clara Tapia Palacio.
Palacio fired the Dinos up early in second quarter with another circus three-pointer, but Alberta responded with a 9-2 run. Calgary finished the first half on top 25-24 after a clutch triple by senior Erin McIntosh.
Alberta outshone Calgary in the third quarter 26-22 in points. Both teams were matched with three three-pointers but Alberta managed two 6-0 runs and pulled ahead 50-47. In the final quarter, Calgary opened with a 7-0 run, but Alberta responded immediately after with an 11-0 run. After a handful of back-and-forth fouls and free throws, the Pandas outshot the Dinos 28-22, including three three-pointers, ending the game victorious.
“We didn’t play very well from the start,” said Dinos head coach Damian Jennings. “We were a bit error-prone, we didn’t look after the ball. We got distracted.”
The Dinos were by fourth year Bobbi-Jo Colburn, who earned 19 points, six rebounds, and scored four of the team’s eight beyond the arc. Third-year Liene Stalidzane was close behind with 16 points, while McIntosh scooped nine points and led the team with nine rebounds.
Senior Vanessa Wild led Alberta with 23 points and six rebounds, while first-year Sydney Fedick grabbed eight rebounds and tied with third year Jenna Harpe for 10 points apiece.
“(Alberta) are a very good basketball team, they’re well-coached, and they made some good adjustments,” commented Jennings. “It was a tough night.”
Following the contest, the Dinos recognized four graduating seniors in Erin McIntosh, Michaela Nieuwenhuisen, Sascha Lichtenwald, and Anmol Mattu, along with Freya Szmidt and Jenna Spruyt whose varsity careers were injury-shortened.
The Dinos will face off against their crosstown rivals, the Mount Royal University Cougars, in a home and home next week to close out the regular season, with the first game on Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. in the Jack Simpson Gym. The Pandas will play their last series against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Saville Community Sport Centre.