FREDERICTON – For the first time in their history, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies are CIS Women's Basketball Champions.
The Huskies knocked off the Ryerson University Rams 85-71 Sunday afternoon at the Richard J. Currie Center to lift the CIS Championship trophy, the Bronze Baby, for the first time.
"I can't be happier for this group of women," said head coach Lisa Thomaidis. "The amount of time they dedicated to this program, I can't thank them enough."
Laura Dally, the Canada West MVP and First Team All-Canadian, came up with a big game when the Huskies needed it most. The fifth-year guard scored 25 points and was named the player of the game. Dally hit four of her first five three-point attempts and added six rebounds.
"It feels awesome, it feels amazing," said Dally as the team celebrated on the court. "I couldn't be happier to bring it back to Saskatoon, to the community there that supports us so much."
Emmerson, who recorded a double-double in all three of the Huskies' games at the Championship, was named the Tournament MVP.
Emmerson and Dally were both named tournament all-stars for their performance this weekend.
"That's what you want from your fifth-year All-Stars and All-Canadians, to bring it on the biggest night" said Thomaidis of the Huskies performance on Sunday. "They showed why they are so important to this team. They are all impressive individuals and I couldn't be prouder."
The Huskies got out to a strong start in the final, opening up an early five-point lead. The Rams, led by CIS MVP Keneca Pinque-Giles closed the quarter with some efficient shooting to take a 22-18 lead after 10 minutes.
Saskatchewan answered back in the second, using their three-point shooting to take a 42-40 halftime lead after trailing by nine during the period. The Huskies hit on five of their nine attempts from beyond the arc in the first half.
Coming out of the locker room with a strong defensive focus, the Huskies were able to slow down Ryerson's transition game. Saskatchewan's 13-4 run near the end of the third helped the Huskies to a build up a 10-point cushion heading to the fourth.
With the game looking like it might come down to the wire, first-year Huskie Sabine Dukate took over. Dukate scored 10 of her 22 points in the fourth quarter including back-to-back three's to extend the Huskie lead to eight with just over four minutes remaining. The Huskies scored the last eight points of the game to take the 85-71 victory.
Pinque-Giles led Ryerson with 26 points in the game. Maria Nunes led the team with seven rebounds and seven assists.
The Huskies held the Rams to just 36.7 percent shooting while converting 44.8 percent of their own shots.
Huskie Athletics invites fans to our Championship Celebration Wednesday, March 23 at 11:45 a.m. at the Physical Activity Complex to congratulate our national champion women's basketball team.