CALGARY – What would’ve been the most exhilarating victory of the University of Calgary Dinos season ended in heartbreaking fashion at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium Saturday, as the Saskatchewan Huskies withstood an incredible fourth quarter run to eek out the 83-81 victory.
Thomas Cooper’s last second shot bounced off the back of the rim as the clock expired and the Dinos record dipped to 11-3 while the Huskies improved to 9-5, despite a 30-13 fourth quarter for Calgary.
The game started like the night before, expect it was Saskatchewan getting the early lead.
Saskatchewan’s Matt Forbes would score five straight points to give the Huskies a 19-9 lead and at the end of the quarter, teammate Jaylan Morgan would make a layup as time expired for a 24-13 advantage.
The teams traded buckets early in the second with Shane Osayande throwing down an emphatic dunk a minute into the frame, but Saskatchewan continued to control the game.
A Lawrence Moore field goal made it 47-27 with a minute remaining, but Calgary would score four points to go into halftime down 16.
Led by Moore and Forbes, Saskatchewan kept their comfortable lead throughout the third and led 70-51 going into the fourth.
But that’s when the Dinos turned up the pressure.
Going with a small lineup for a full court press, the Dinos got to work quickly, with Mambi Diawara scoring seven straight points including back-to-back threes early on.
Lars Schlueter would score four straight of his own and all of a sudden it was 72-64 Saskatchewan a few minutes in after 13-0 run.
Moore would respond with one of his five three-pointers, but Calgary kept the pressure on.
Cooper would make a clutch three and then found Schlueter in transition for a two-handed dunk that sent the crowd into a frenzy and the score to 75-69 with just under five minutes remaining.
Soon after, Diawara would get a steal and Cooper would hit one of two free throws to make it just a five-point game.
The rivals traded the next four baskets, then Calgary would make yet another push as David Kapinga would steal the ball and find Cooper who was fouled by Osayande, hitting two free throws to make it 82-79.
Moore would miss a shot and Kapinga would breakaway for a layup to cut the lead to 82-81 with 13 seconds remaining before a big call by the officials.
On the ensuing Saskatchewan inbound, the ball went out of bounds and originally called to be Calgary possession, but was overturned after an official determined Diawara tipped it out of bounds.
Moore would get fouled immediately and make the first free throw, but missed the second and after rundown for the ball went out of bounds, Calgary got the ball back with 2.3 seconds remaining.
Cooper would catch the ball and turn near the three-point line, take one dribble and throw up a running one-handed shot that just missed as the Huskies won the game.
In another excellent performance, Cooper finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, while Kapinga had 16, Diawara 13 and Schlueter 11.
For the winners, Forbes had 22, Osayande had another double-double of 16 and 10 and Moore – who had just one point the night before – finished with 21.
Calgary had eight steals in their incredible fourth quarter run, scoring 20 points off 21 Huskies turnovers overall in the game.
After a 3-2 five-game homestand, Calgary goes on the road for their next four with action against Regina and Thompson Rivers.