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HUSKIES WIN BRONZE AT CIS CHAMPIONSHIP2010-03-14

For the first time in history the University of Saskatchewan women’s basketball team has won a medal at the CIS level.

With a 78-67 victory over provincial and Canada West foe University of Regina Cougars, the Huskies claimed the bronze medal at the 2010 CIS Women’s Basketball Championship hosted by McMaster University at the Burridge Gymnasim. It is the best finish-ever for the Huskies in five trips to the national stage. The previous best finish was sixth place in 1982, 2006 and 2007.

“It was a big win for the team and a big win for our program,” said Huskie head coach Lisa Thomaidis. “I’m proud of what we accomplished and how our team played today.”

With a six point lead early in the first quarter, the No. 3 seeded Huskies looked like they had control of the game. But after a Cougars’ timeout, Regina, seeded No. 4 in the tournament, turned the game around and took over the lead at 9-8 with just over five minutes left in the first.  By the end of the quarter, the Cougars were ahead 25-19.

Regina started the scoring in the second quarter with four straight points and had a 29-13 lead. This time it was Saskatchewan that began to chip away at the lead and by the halftime the two teams were tied at 37. The Huskies had a 16-2 run in the second quarter to get the game tied.

Although the Cougars scored first to open the second half, the Huskies tied it with a shot from under the basket by Marci Kiselyk and took the lead on a similar play by Jana Spindler. From there the Huskies never looked back leading by eight at 60-52 at the end of the third quarter. Regina was able to bring the score within four to begin the fourth quarter but it was as close as they could get.

Four players were in double digits for the Huskies including fifth-year All-Canadian Lindsay DeGroot with 24. Jill Humbert scored 19 and 2009 All-Canadian Kim Tulloch had 11. Lauren Whyte pitched in from the bench scoring 10 including four from the free throw line. Lindsay Copeland led the Huskies in rebounds with eight. Joanna Zalesiak scored 26 points for the Cougars, while Brittany Read had 17 points and 15 rebounds including 10 on offense.

DeGroot was named player of the game for the Huskies, while Zalesiak was named the player of the game for the Cougars

Saskatchewan was consistent in the game shooting at 40% through both the first and second quarters. Hot in the first half of the game, the Cougars shot at 48% but had trouble sinking balls in the second half shooting just 24%. The Huskies also capitalized on Cougar mistakes scoring 22 points on turnovers.

Huskie Jill Humbert was named a tournament all-star, while DeGroot was given the Fair Play Award.

It was the last game in a Huskie uniform for fifth-years DeGroot and Alicia Wilson. The bronze medal capped off an incredible CIS career for DeGroot that included being named an All-Canadian three times, OUA MVP twice and also winning a CIS bronze with McMaster in 2007. She joined the Huskies in 2009-10 after transferring to the University of Saskatchewan for Graduate Studies. Wilson joined the Huskies in 2007-08 and has been a big part of the Huskies. She has helped the Huskies to two Central Division Finals, three CIS Championships and a Canada West bronze medal. In her Huskie career, she has tallied 359 points and 204 rebounds

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