SASKATOON – A late fourth quarter comeback by the University of Saskatchewan Huskies came up just short on Saturday night as the green and white dropped an 85-80 decision to the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
With the loss the Huskies drop to 7-11 and are eliminated from post-season contention. Alberta clinches a spot in the Canada West playoffs at 10-9 and will have plenty to play for in their final regular season game against the Calgary Dinos. Saskatchewan will close the season in Regina against the Cougars.
Entering the quarter down 59-43, the Huskies came alive in the closing 10 minutes. Saskatchewan scored 36 points in the fourth and did plenty of damage to the Alberta lead from behind the three-point line. The deficit shrunk to just three with less than a minute to go, but Lyndon Annetts free throw's and some timely defence got the Golden Bears to the finish.
The Golden Bears got out to their big lead thanks to a 25-9 first quarter. Saskatchewan battled back to cut the lead to 36-28 by halftime. The Huskies actually shot better than Alberta at 32.1 percent to the Bears' 30.8 percent. The visitors outrebounded the Huskies 20-15 in the opening 20 minutes.
In the third quarter, Alberta started to pull away again. By the end of the quarter the Golden Bears had once again extended the lead to 16. In the fourth, Alberta continued to hold on to the lead they worked to build, and escaped with the victory.
Alberta finished the night shooting 46 percent from the floor and went 27-of-36 from the charity stripe. Saskatchewan shot the ball at a 37 percent clip and hit 21-of-29 free throws in the loss.
Mamadou Gueye scored 33 points on 9-of-16 shooting to help the Golden Bears hang on for the win. Gueye went 13-for-16 from the free throw line and hauled in 12 rebounds to record the double-double. Annetts added another 16 for Alberta and Brody Clarke scored 20 more to go along with six rebounds.