The Wesmen women’s basketball team have made themselves a target in the CanWest division by knocking off the Bisons two weekends ago, and then sweeping the Calgary Dinos last weekend (Nov. 6-7).
Head coach Tanya McKay was pleased with practices leading up to the weekend and was assured that the bye weekend leading up to Calgary would not affect the Wesmen’s play.
“You worry about taking a weekend off,” she noted. “The intensity level drops in practice.”
Now, with back-to-back wins against the Dinos, Winnipeg has proven itself as a team to watch out for early in the season.
“No one really expected anything from us,” said Alyssa Grant, a second-year post. “But coming out of this weekend, teams will have to respect us.”
On Friday night, the Wesmen showed no fear against the Calgary Dinos. They played up on the Dinos from the tip-off by challenging them with tough team defensive. Their intensity on defence caused a number of turnovers early on, leading to easy transition points for the Wesmen.
“Our defence generates a lot of our offence,” said Catie Gooch, a fifth-year player and the team’s co-captain. “So much of our focus is on that.”
Both Friday and Saturday’s games were close.
At the half on Friday night, the Wesmen were ahead 30-27, and they held onto their small lead throughout the second half.
On Saturday night, the Wesmen struggled more in the first half and were trailing by nine early in the second quarter. Gooch then caught fire, hitting three three-pointers and adding another two points to close the gap. By the end of the first half, the Wesmen were only down 33-29.
The lead was passed back and forth between Calgary and Winnipeg during the third quarter.
Calgary went on a run to start the final quarter, and took the lead 46-42. The Wesmen answered the streak with their own, and with just over two minutes left in the game the score was tied at 51.
The game went down to the final seconds, but in the end, the Wesmen won by sinking their fouls shots.
The final score was 55-51.
Published in Volume 65, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 11, 2010)