Before a season-high 2,875 fans in Calgary, 6’5″ Thomas Cooper reinforced his quest for Canada West Player-of-the-Year with a season-high 42 points on 13-26 shooting as the Dinos collectively shot a blistering 12 for 17 from downtown in a dominant 115-91 win over Regina, pulling away in the third quarter. Cooper, the Canada West leader in scoring at 25.9 ppg, eclipsed his prior season high of 38 points at Manitoba before Christmas, going 4 for 5 from beyond the arc.
6’7″ wing forward Lars Schlueter added 23 points on 5 of 7 shooting from downtown and added 9 rebounds as the Dinos moved closer to clinching the Canada West regular season crown and the right to host the Final Four if Calgary wins their quarter-final series. At 15-3, Calgary clinches at least a tie for first place with another win over the Cougars this evening with their final game next week at home against Alberta Golden Bears.
Calgary has much incentive to keep winning as closest pursuers UBC (12-4) and Manitoba (13-5) both have very winnable pairs of games this weekend at Brandon and at Trinity Western respectively. The rest of playoff picture should become much clearer also as Lethbridge (9-7) travels to Winnipeg (9-7) for a pair – a split will be beneficial to both teams regarding their playoff lives while Saskatchewan (6-10) needs a sweep of visiting Alberta (9-8) to retain any hope of a playoff berth. Victoria (7-11) is idle and looking for help to have any chance of defending their Canada West playoff championship from last season.
Feature match-up in the Explorer Division has pre-season co-favorites Thompson Rivers and Fraser Valley meeting in Abbotsford for a pair of games. TRU has all but clinched top spot in that division.