HUSKIES SWEEP BEARS IN FINAL WEEKEND2013-02-16
By Daniel Herrick, Huskie Athletics Practicum Student
After locking up first place the night before, the No. 10 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies solidified their dominance on home court with a 79-73 win over the No. 9 University of Alberta Golden Bears Saturday night at the PAC in Saskatoon.
At home in the 2012-13 regular season, the Huskies (16-6) went 10-1 including the sweep over the Golden Bears in the final weekend of conference action. A night earlier, the Huskies won 82-64.
With their fifth straight loss, the Bears (14-8) drop to fourth in the conference’s prairie division standings and will now be on the road for their Canada West quarter-final series next weekend.
Saskatchewan will host a best-of-three quarter-final series at the PAC February 22, 23 and 24, if necessary.
The Huskies jumped out to an early lead thanks to a 4-of-6 shooting performance from behind the three point line in the first quarter. In the second, the Huskies offence went stagnant and the Bears took advantage taking a four-point lead at halftime.
Both teams came out in the second half looking to push the tempo, but neither team could separate itself and headed into the fourth tied at 48.
In the fourth the Huskies regained the lead for the first time in the second half on a Matt Forbes offensive rebound and put back. Andrew Henry and Ben Baker added back-to-back baskets from three to go up by five. The Huskies would not relinquish the lead, going 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the final minute to finish the game.
Canada West scoring leader Stephon Lamar led the Huskies offensively once again with 27 points. Baker had 19 points, going 4-for-6 from long range.
In his final regular season game of his career, Huskies’ lone fifth-year Patrick Burns recorded six points and nine rebounds.
For the Bears, Sahr Saffa led the charge with 25 points and 8 rebounds. Kenneth Otieno had 21 points to go along with five assists.
Tipoff in Saskatchewan’s quarter-final will be 7 p.m. each night. The Huskies will host the University of Fraser Valley Cascades, who finished fourth in the Canada West pacific division.