DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
A late second-half rally wasn't enough for the Winnipeg Wesmen to dig out of a substantial deficit Friday night.
Brett Layton had 23 points and 24 rebounds and the No. 2-ranked Calgary Dinos withstood a second-half Wesmen surge to post an 81-70 Canada West men's basketball victory at the Duckworth Centre.
The Wesmen (6-7) trailed by as many as 26 in the second half but closed the third quarter on an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 16. They got the deficit down to 65-54 on a Narcisse Ambanza make with 8:33 to go in the fourth and then forced a turnover on the next possession. Ambanza would miss a contested three following that and Calgary would push it back to 13 immediately after. The Wesmen would get within 11 on three occasions the rest of the way and then trimmed it to 12 on an Ambanza three with 29 seconds left.
"I think Calgary did a few things that kinda got us out of rhythm," Wesmen head coach Mike Raimbault said. "They were trapping in the backcourt and they blocked a few shots in the paint and I think we shied away from them, to be honest. I thought it was more a situation of them dictating the style of game as opposed to us doing any one thing in particular."
Ambanza finished with a team-high 23 points plus five rebounds and five steals. Don Dayrit, who hit for 32 last Saturday against MacEwan, went for 17. Bill Yaworsky added 11, hitting 3-for-6 from three.
Layton, who leads the conference in rebounding, matched his Canada West season-high for rebounds in a game. It was his second 24-rebound game in the past two weeks and fourth 20-rebound game of the season.
Mason Foreman had 21 points, 12 rebounds and seven turnovers for the Dinos, who ran their win streak in conference games to 36 straight in improving to 13-0.
"(Offensive) glass is deflating because you can play a great defensive possession and then just give them another chance and then you're fatigued on your own end of the floor trying to do it again," Calgary head coach Dan Vanhooren said. "What those two provide for us offensively just from O-glass is a huge factor in our ability to win basketball games. Those two, they're workers and they just stay after it, and obviously we're super-pleased with what they provide us."
The Wesmen forced 25 Calgary turnovers, with Foreman's game-high leading the way there.
"I'm not particularly pleased with how we played, mainly because of our turnovers," Vanhooren said. "We can't close out a game if we're turning the ball over."
The two teams will meet again Saturday at 5 p.m. CT.