Campus preview: Dinos basketball hosts 'Pack The Jack' on Friday

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Dinos Men’s Basketball (10-4)
Friday, January 19 | Calgary vs. Trinity Western (2-10) | Jack Simpson Gym | 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 20 | Calgary vs. Trinity Western (2-10) | Jack Simpson Gym | 8:00 p.m.

One of the hottest teams in the country continues its six-game home stand this weekend when the University of Calgary Dinos men’s basketball team welcomes Trinity Western inside the Jack Simpson Gym for a two-game set. Both Friday and Saturday’s matchups are set to tip off at 8 p.m.

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The Dinos head into the weekend on an eight-game win streak, with an average winning margin of +10.9 points per win over that span. With wins earlier in the year over No. 1 Victoria and No. 10 Manitoba, it’s clear head coach Dan Vanhooren once again has a strong group that appears to be coming together down the home stretch.

While this weekend’s opponent’s record might not look impressive at just 2-10, TWU just had arguably their best performance of the year with a 92-85 overtime win over top-ranked Victoria – joining Calgary as the only two teams to knock off the Vikes this season. Third-year guard David Mutabazi leads the Spartans in scoring on the season, averaging 18.0 points per game after pouring in a season-high 34 in the win over Victoria.

It has been a while since Calgary and Trinity Western met in the regular season. The two teams have taken turns knocking each other out of the playoffs the past two seasons, but you have to go back to November of 2019 for the last regular season set between the two schools. The Dinos won both games that weekend and have won the last eight conference games in the series.

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Dinos Women’s Basketball (11-3)
Friday, January 19 | Calgary vs. Trinity Western (8-4) | Jack Simpson Gym | 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 20 | Calgary vs. Trinity Western (8-4) | Jack Simpson Gym | 6:00 p.m.

The fifth-ranked Calgary women’s basketball team will look to continue their undefeated start to the new year with their toughest challenge since the turn of the calendar as Trinity Western comes to campus for two. Both Friday and Saturday’s games are set to start at 6 p.m. from inside the Jack Simpson Gym.

Despite being separated by just one game in the loss column coming into this weekend, the Dinos and Spartans have been on different trajectories over the past few weeks. Calgary has outscored its opponents by an absurd 101-39 average over its last four wins. Meanwhile, TWU was 8-0 in 2023 but has dropped its first four games of the new year, with three of the four games being decided by six points or less.

It will be a true clash of styles this weekend, as the high-powered Dinos who have scored 100+ points in a game four times this season and are averaging 84.1 points per game overall, take on the more methodical Spartans who average 68.5 points per game and have scored more than 80 points in a game just once on the year.

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Surprisingly, these two programs haven’t squared off against one another since Nov. 22-23, 2019. The Dinos won both of those games in Calgary and have won 23 of the last 25 head-to-head conference games.

Dinos Men’s Hockey (17-4-1)
Friday, January 19 | Calgary at Manitoba (2-17-1) | Wayne Fleming Arena | 6:00 p.m. MT
Saturday, January 20 | Calgary at Manitoba (2-17-1) | Wayne Fleming Arena | 2:00 p.m. MT

The No. 2 Dinos men’s hockey team – which has already clinched a playoff spot with six games left to play – will look to continue their push to the postseason with a trip to Winnipeg to take on the Manitoba Bisons for two games. Friday’s puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. MT from Wayne Fleming Arena, while Saturday’s showdown is set for a 2 p.m. MT start.

Calgary suffered just their fifth loss of the season last Friday in a 3-2 setback to Alberta. They responded impressively, hammering home five goals in the second period in cruising to a 5-0 win in Saturday’s rematch. Mark Howell’s squad now has racked up 95 goals scored on the season for a +43 goal differential – both totals rank fourth in the nation heading into the weekend.

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Carter Massier and Sean Strange both found the back of the net for the first time this season versus the Golden Bears. With those two joining the goal-scoring column, the Dinos now have 22 different players who have potted goals this year.

Dinos Women’s Hockey (8-12-2)
Friday, January 19 | Calgary vs. Manitoba (6-13-1) | Father David Bauer Arena | 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 20 | Calgary vs. Manitoba (6-13-1) | Father David Bauer Arena | 2:00 p.m.

It’s a pivotal weekend for Calgary’s women’s hockey team, as they host Manitoba for two games at Father David Bauer Arena. Friday’s contest is set to start at 7 p.m., while Saturday’s action is scheduled to get underway at 2 p.m.

The Dinos enter the weekend with an 8-12-2 record and 18 points in the Canada West standings – currently good for fifth place. Manitoba comes to town tied for sixth in the conference standings with 13 points at 6-13-1. With only six playoff spots available, both games this weekend should have plenty of energy from the two teams as there are just four games left on the schedule after this weekend.

Earlier this season, the Dinos were swept by the Bisons in Winnipeg. Since that mid-November weekend setback, interim head coach Josh Gosling has guided his team to a big turn in the right direction – going 5-2-1 over the last eight games, including handing league-leading and top-ranked UBC its lone loss in regulation all season.

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Dinos Men’s Volleyball (7-9)
Friday, January 19 | Calgary at Alberta (11-5) | Saville Centre | 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 20 | Calgary at Alberta (11-5) | Saville Centre | 6:30 p.m.

The Dinos men’s volleyball team is one of seven University of Calgary teams that will head to Edmonton this weekend, as they get set for the latest Battle of Alberta. Friday’s match will start the busy weekend at 6 p.m., while Saturday’s contest is set to take place following the women’s matchup and is tentatively slated for a 6:30 p.m. first serve.

Calgary will look to build off its weekend sweep over UBC-Okanagan this past Saturday-Sunday. Despite dealing with travel issues both to and from Kelowna, the Dinos cruised to a sweep in their first game with the Heat before a 3-1 win that went deep into extras in a pair of frames in the finale.

With four weeks remaining in the regular season, Calgary is still right in the thick of things and fighting for a playoff spot. After this weekend’s showdown with the Bears, the Dinos will welcome a week off before gearing up for the final stretch run, hosting Saskatchewan (Feb. 2-3) and Trinity Western (Feb. 16-17), as well as travelling to Winnipeg (Feb. 9-10).

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Dinos Women’s Volleyball (7-9)
Friday, January 19 | Calgary at Alberta (12-3) | Saville Centre | 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 20 | Calgary at Alberta (12-3) | Saville Centre | 5:00 p.m.

Calgary’s women’s volleyball team will also head to the University of Alberta this weekend, going up against the Pandas Friday at 7:30 p.m. before a 5 p.m. rematch Saturday.

The Dinos saw their three-game win streak snapped in the weekend finale against UBCO last time out and now sit at 7-9 heading into the weekend. That’s currently good for seventh place in the Canada West standings with eight games left to go in the regular season.

It has been an injury-plagued season for head coach Christine Biggs’ squad, but a number of players have been back on the court to start the new year and it has shown. Sammi Boag was back in action for the first time since October and had 11 kills and nine digs in Friday’s sweep of the Heat. Sheridan Coninx also has returned strong in 2024. The third-year middle ranks third in the conference in blocks per set with 1.10.

Dinos Track & Field
Friday, January 19 | Golden Bear Open | Butterdome | 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 20 | Golden Bear Open | Butterdome | 12:30 p.m.

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After a successful first full team meet of the season last time out, the Dinos track & field program will look to build off its early success as they head north to Edmonton for the 50th running of the Golden Bear Open this Friday-Saturday inside the Butterdome. This will mark the first of three times Calgary will compete at this facility in just over one month, closing out the regular season at the annual Pandas Challenge (Feb. 9-10) before returning to Edmonton Feb. 23-24 for this year’s Canada West Championships.

The Dinos turned in 20 top-five finishes at last weekend’s meet in Saskatoon, including topping the field in five events. Dawn Richardson Wilson, Alexis Johnson, Devon Zuchotzki – the Canada West Male Track & Field Athlete of the Week – and Noel Vanderzee all won their individual events, while the Dinos women’s 4x400m relay squad also brought home a big win on the weekend.

Up next, Calgary will host its third and final home meet next Sunday, Jan. 28 inside the Jack Simpson Gym. Events are tentatively scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m.

Dinos Curling
Friday, January 19 | Calgary vs. Lethbridge | Saville Centre | 2:00 p.m.
Friday, January 19 | Calgary vs. Brandon | Saville Centre | 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 20 | Calgary vs. Regina | Saville Centre | 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, January 20 | Calgary vs. Victoria | Saville Centre | 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 21 | Calgary at Alberta | Saville Centre | 8:00 a.m.

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The Dinos men’s and women’s curling teams will continue the trend of the weekend and head to Edmonton for the 2024 Canada West Curling Championships, hosted by the University of Alberta. Six teams will compete over three days to determine this year’s champions, starting Friday and wrapping up Sunday.

Calgary’s curling program returned to action for the first time in decades last season and had instant success. The men’s program went 3-1 at the 2023 CW Championships to earn the silver medal and advance to the U SPORTS Championships.

The Dinos have a pair of conference championships in their history, as the women’s program won back in 1973, while the men’s team claimed the title back in 1964.

Dinos Rugby 7s
Saturday, January 20 | Calgary at Alberta | Foote Field | 10:44 a.m.
Saturday, January 20 | Calgary vs. Lethbridge | Foote Field | 1:22 p.m.
Saturday, January 20 | Calgary vs. UBC | Foote Field | 4:02 p.m.
Sunday, January 21 | Calgary vs. Victoria | Foote Field | 10:44 a.m.
Sunday, January 21 | Calgary vs. Trinity Western | Foote Field | 1:00 p.m.

The Canada West rugby 7s season is here for Calgary, as the Dinos have the first of their three tournaments this weekend at the University of Alberta’s ‘The Dome’ at Foote Field. Calgary will play five games over the course of just over 24 hours, starting Saturday morning.

The Dinos have one of the youngest rosters in the country, as 17 of the 25 players on this year’s squad are in their first two years of eligibility.

Last season, the Dinos turned in an impressive 10-5 record during the rugby 7s season – good for third place in the final standings. In its six-year history, Calgary is 54-34-4 all-time in rugby 7s action, including winning the inaugural conference title back in 2017.

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