Fidler, Sihota monsters in Halloween hammering
CALGARY – The University of Calgary Dinos opened Saturday
night’s game with a 23-3 run en route to a 30-point first
quarter, hanging a second consecutive drubbing on the Winnipeg
Wesmen by a 96-55 score at the Jack Simpson Gym.
A night after Ross Bekkering’s monster outing, number 33 on the home side gave way to the other two of Calgary’s Big Three up front as Robbie Sihota and Tyler Fidler led the charge for the Dinos.
On Halloween night, Robbie “Superman” Sihota turned in his blue cape for a black jersey adorned with number 31 and leapt over tall defenders with a single bound, scoring eight of the Dinos’ first 22 points. From there, however, Fidler took over with one of the best games of his CIS career, finishing just three assists shy of a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and seven helpers, with a trio of blocked shots to boot. His highlight was a spectacular put-back dunk off a missed jumper by Jordan Flagel midway through the second quarter
“Tyler had probably the best game I’ve ever seen him play tonight,” said Calgary coach Dan Vanhooren. “He just continues to improve, and he’s only starting his third year.
“I think the only real difference for us tonight was our free throw shooting, which was better at 71 per cent. Honestly, though, that’s still not where we want to be. I’m thrilled with our rebounding, which gives us all those extra possessions and additional opportunities. But if you look at it at this point in the year, this team passes the ball and it doesn’t turn the ball over. This is a better basketball team than we’ve had here in a long time, and hopefully we keep playing that well.”
The Dinos held a whopping 58-33 margin off the glass including 21 offensive rebounds resulting in 12 more field goal tries on the night than their opponents. Calgary shot the ball well from outside, draining 10 three-point hoops on 24 tries while the Wesmen managed just three.
With the drama quickly sucked out of the game in the first two minutes, Vanhooren was able to get significant playing time for his entire bench. With nine minutes, Flagel was the only player to record less than 10 on the floor as nearly a third of the available court time was taken up by freshmen, led by point guard Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson with 21.
“When we get up like that, we have opportunities to test things out and give youngsters some experiences that they need,” said Vanhoorn. It was nice to see Patrick Walker out there again tonight, he has great hands and is a great athlete and he’s been spectacular for us so far.”
Walker, the heir apparent to the Bekkering-Sihota combination up front, grabbed five boards and drained six points in his dozen minutes. Bekkering ran into early foul trouble and spent just 17 minutes on the floor but still managed to score seven and haul in eight rebounds on the night.
Winnipeg shot just 28 per cent from the field and was held to 13 points or less in three of the four quarters. Peter Lomuro was the brightest Wesman on the night with 16 points, while Nick Lother added 14 and Eric Zimmerman 11.
Calgary jumps out to a quick 2-0 start to the 2009-10 season and will look to improve that further next weekend when they travel to Winnipeg for a date with the Manitoba Bisons (1-1). Winnipeg (0-2) also plays in the Manitoba capital next week when they host the new-look Alberta Golden Bears (2-0) at the Duckworth Centre.
Sports Information Director
University of Calgary Dinos