'Superman' leads Dinos to upset of Cape Breton

NEATE SAGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:37 PM ET

Robbie Sihota lived up to his nickname - Superman - scoring 25 points Friday to lead the seventh-seeded Calgary Dinos to an upset of the No. 2 Cape Breton 82-74 at the CIS Final 8 men’s basketball championship.

The Dinos will meet the No. 3-seeded UBC Thunderbirds in one of two semi-finals on Saturday. UBC beat Lakehead 79-58 in the second game Friday at Scotiabank Place. Two other quarterfinals, including the Carleton Ravens, go tonight.

For the Dinos, Sihota hit two big inside baskets in the final minute to stretch the lead after Jimmy Dorsey’s shooting had pulled Cape Breton within two. That gave Calgary enough of a cushion. Dorsey scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, including four three-pointers.

Calgary managed to pull out the chippy contest despite all-Canadian forward Ross Bekkering (14 points, six rebounds) playing just 25 minutes due to foul trouble. The Capers, who had CIS defensive player of the year Phillip Nkrumah go down with an injury in the first quarter, led 42-39 at halftime but Calgary took control after opening the third quarter with a 10-0 run.

Rookie point guard Jarred Obungbemi-Jackson added 17 points for the Dinos. Sihota also had 11 rebounds.

Fidler, a 6-foot-9 wing, did yeoman’s work for the Dinos, playing a game-high 38 minutes and keeping Dorsey from getting in a rhythm until the fourth. Fidler also chipped in 11 points.

Paris Carter added 14 for the Capers, but on 5-of-16 shooting.

The Thunderbirds cruised to victory once they located the emotion button.

This despite playing the No. 6 Thunderwolves’ kind of game for close to a half. The heavy favourite ran off 24 consecutive points across the middle two quarters, putting to rest any chance of a Cinderella upset by the ’Wolves.

The run was punctuated by some hustle plays and a dunk by Kyle Watson, which was topped by a jam teammate Kamar Burke threw down later in the third quarter.

“It was a wake-up call for us,” UBC guard Josh Whyte, who scored 13 points despite the tough defence of Lakehead guard Greg Carter, told Streaming Sports Network Canada. “We’ve just been down some of the games during the season and had to come back in the second half. We just had to fight through adversity. It was a good start for us.”

Fifth-year senior Blain LaBranche led UBC with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Brent Malish added 10 off the bench. Joseph Jones led Lakehead, which last played in the tournament in 1977, with 14 points. Carter added nine before fouling out with 3:26 to play. Yoosrie Salhia added 12.

The T-Birds had just a 31-27 edge in rebounding over a Lakehead team whose biggest post presence is the 6-foot-6 Salhia. That will be a wrinkle heading into Saturday’s showdown with Calgary, whose frontcourt includes 6-8 Ross Bekkering, 6-6 Robbie Sihota and 6-9 Fidler.

“We’re going to expect a grind-out game,” Whyte said. “They’ve got some big boys.”


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