Thomas Cooper scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the No. 4 Calgary Dinos stunned the top-ranked Ryerson Rams 98-87 on Saturday to book a spot in the title game at the CIS Final 8 men's basketball tournament.
Calgary will take on No. 2 Carleton in Sunday's final after the Ravens beat the No. 6 Dalhousie Tigers 76-66 in the other semifinal. Ryerson will meet Dalhousie in the third-place game.
Cooper — a fourth-year guard from Chattanooga, Tenn., who transferred to the Dinos from the University of Nebraska-Kearney this season — finished 10 of 24 from the field, including 3 of 8 from three-point range.
Jasdeep Gill added 23 points for the Dinos, including 4 of 7 shooting from three.
Adika Peter-McNeilly led the way with 22 points and 11 boards for Ryerson, which survived a scare in the opening round against No. 8 UBC, but was unable to overcome another slow start against Calgary.
Cooper scored 11 points in the first as Calgary grabbed a lead 27-13, and the Dinos were up 44-28 with 2:13 to play in the first half before the Rams went on a 10-0 run.
But the Dinos got the last shot of the opening 20 minutes, with Jhony Verrone nailing another three at the buzzer to give Calgary a nine-point edge at the break.
In the other semifinal, Connor Wood scored 18 points to pace Carleton. The fourth-year guard from Guelph, Ont., was the offensive catalyst, finishing 4 of 9 from three, but it was Carleton's top-ranked defence that was the difference against Dalhousie for long stretches in the first of two national semifinals.
Carleton has won the last five Canadian university crowns, and 11 of the last 13, but lost star siblings Philip and Thomas Scrubb to graduation after the 2014-15 season, while head coach Dave Smart stepped away from the program this year on sabbatical.
"We really try to foster a culture of healthy competitiveness where it's OK to want to fight, it's OK to want to battle every single day and prove yourself," said Carleton interim head coach Rob Smart, Dave's nephew. "It doesn't mean you're some kind of egomaniac it just means that for those two hours you compete and it's the most fun thing to do."
Earlier in the day, UBC defeated No. 3 Ottawa 93-76 in the fifth-place game. Third-year forward Conor Morgan of Victoria led the host Thunderbirds with game-high 25 points and eight rebounds.
Ryerson, U of S to meet in women's final
Mariah Nunes and Keneca Pingue-Giles both had 20 points to lead Ryerson to a 87-72 semifinal win over McGill on Saturday at the Canadian university women's basketball tournament.
Ryerson will face the University of Saskatchewan in the final Sunday. Saskatchewan defeated the Saint Mary's Huskies 65-58 in the other semifinal contest.
Silvana Jez also scored 16 points for Ryerson, which scored 20 points off McGill's 18 turnovers.
Jennifer Silver led the way for McGill with 21 points while Gabriela Hebert added 14 points.
Rams coach Carly Clarke was pleased with her team's game management.
"We wanted to play with this tempo, and we set a good pace with rebounding off the boards, and defensive quickness to steal the ball," she said. "They (McGill) are a great team, they were a tough challenge."
Ryerson University has never won a medal in woman's basketball, a fact not lost upon on Clarke.
"It means so much to the players, to the team, and the university administration and the community," she said. "I feel lucky to be part of this kind of success."
McGill will cap its tournament facing Saint Mary's for the bronze medal Sunday.
Earlier, Laura Dally, Canada West's player of the year, led Saskatchewan with 24 points. Dalyce Emmerson added 17 points and 18 rebounds.
"I have played in two other semis, and we didn't get to the finals, so this is really nice," Emmerson said. "We still have some business to take care of, but right now, I am so, so happy."
Rachelle Coward had 19 points for Saint Mary's while Angelina Carvery added 10 points.
Saskatchewan led by 17 points in the third before Saint Mary's mounted a rally to make it a one-point contest.
"They did some things differently in the second half, scored in transition and had too many good scorers to be taken lightly," said Saskatchewan head coach Lisa Thomaidis.
"We are happy to escape with the win and it was an escape."