CALGARY - It wasn't their prettiest victory, but the University of Calgary Dinos were able to fight back and win an ugly game against the Saskatchewan Huskies 73-68 Friday night at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium.
Thomas Cooper once again led the way in scoring with 22 points, while Josh Owen-Thomas finished with 13 as the only other Dino in double-figures.
After scoring just 45 points through three quarters and trailing by one going into the fourth, the Dinos scored 28 in the final 10 minutes to improve to 7-3 and avoid the upset.
"Just being mentally tough," Cooper said. "We were able to stay with it and get the win in the end."
The visiting Huskies dictated the tempo of the game from the beginning in their zone defense, but were down 13-12 after the first quarter.
They would take the lead in the second quarter and led 27-25 at halftime, helped by Calgary's ice cold shooting, as the Dinos were 0-13 from three-point land.
The Dinos wouldn't hit their first three until the 5:01 mark, when Jasdeep Gill's long ball gave Calgary a 40-38 lead, but the Huskies would keep it close and still led 46-45 going into the fourth.
That's when Cooper picked up the pace after scoring the last field goal of the third quarter, hitting three straight shots to start the fourth, followed by an Owen-Thomas three to give Calgary a 54-53 lead.
But the Huskies would respond with two threes of their own and take a 59-54 edge.
The game stayed close throughout the rest of the frame, with the Huskies up one with a minute and a half remaining until Cooper's clutch play led to the victory.
He would hit a jumper to give Calgary a one-point lead at 67-66 and the next time up the floor, he found a cutting Dallas Karch underneath for a huge layup giving his team the three-point lead.
Calgary would ice the game with free throws for their third win in a row.
On the other end, the Huskies were led by forward Shane Osayande, who finished with a double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds, as Saskatchewan now falls to 3-6.
Although Calgary's offense picked up in the fourth, they still only shot 34 per cent for the game, including a miserable 4-32 from three-point territory.
They were also outrebounded 57-41 by the Huskies, but took advantage of Saskatchewan's turnovers, scoring 13 points off of them.
The two teams play again Saturday night at 7 p.m. on NBA All-Star Challenge NIght, where there will be a skills competition, the Oklahoma City Thunder dance team mascot, former veteran point guard Mike Bibby and the Larry O'Brien Trophy.