CALGARY - The visitors kept it close, but the University of Calgary Dinos were able to defeat the Saskatchewan Huskies 83-78 Saturday night and complete the weekend sweep while improving to 8-3.
Despite the entertainment provided by the NBA for the All-Star Challenge, it was another grinder at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium, with the two teams combining for 53 free throws.
Thomas Cooper once again led the way for Calgary with 21 points and nine rebounds, but added six assists, with a number of them going to Josh Owen-Thomas who finished with 18 points off the bench.
"Saskatchewan is a really good team and they come at us with a lot of ball screens and it's intense defense that we needed to play and we managed to string together a few stops both nights down the stretch," Owen-Thomas said.
Following Friday night's victory by Calgary - also by five points - Calgary once again had a one-point lead after the first quarter at 20-19.
But also like the previous game, the Huskies would win the second quarter and led 41-38 at halftime.
However, the Dinos outscored Saskatchewan 22-14 in the third and appeared to have found their groove going into the fourth.
The Dinos would take advantage of the Husky foul trouble, including a technical foul, which led to four straight free throws for Owen-Thomas and Calgary would soon extend their lead to 72-61.
But Saskatchewan wouldn't go away and kept chipping at the lead.
David Kapinga would hit two free throws, followed by a Chan De Ciman missed three, but then Matt Ellis would miss a jumper that would've sealed the game and gave the Huskies a shot at tying it.
An errant Husky pass would turn the ball over to Calgary and they sealed the game at the line for the five-point win.
The Dinos would end up shooting 27-33 from the line, while the Huskies finished 18-20.
However, both teams averages were far from those percentages from the field, each shooting around 37 per cent for the game.
Along with Cooper and Owen-Thomas, Kapinga and Matt Letkeman would also hit double-figures with 11 points each.
On the other end, five Huskies hit double-figures, led by their young guards De Ciman and Jauquin Bennett-Boire who both had 15.
Calgary will now go on the road for their next four games against Brandon and Trinity Western and although those teams are winless this season, Owen-Thomas said they can't take them lightly.
"The next four road games are crucial," he said. "We want to get a bit of momentum going for the next four games so it's really important to win them."