SASKATOON – The No. 6 ranked University of Alberta Pandas stunned the No. 1 team in the nation with a thrilling 78-77 overtime win against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Friday night at the PAC.
The Pandas improve to 17-1 on the season and hand the Huskies (16-1) their first loss of the season. The loss is Saskatchewan's first on home court in 32 games and breaks a streak of 29 straight regular season conference wins for the Huskies. Alberta also grabs a share of first place in the Pioneer Division.
Saskatchewan took the initial lead in the extra session on a bucket from Laura Dally. The Pandas answered five straight points to jump ahead by three. Every time the Huskies cut the deficit to one, Alberta would answer back and extend the lead to three.
After a defensive stop the Huskies took over possession with 11 seconds left on the clock. After the ball was knocked out of bounds with 3.5 seconds to play, the Huskies were set to in bound under the Alberta basket. A couple of quick shots by the Huskies were well defended by Alberta allowing them to hold on for the win. Elle Hendershot's score with 1:21 to go stood as the winning basket.
Dalyce Emmerson was a force up front for Saskatchewan. The fifth-year post player scored a game high 22 points and hauled down 15 rebounds to record the double-double in 39 minutes of floor time. Kelsey Trulsrud pitched in with another 16 points and six rebounds in the loss.
Elle Hendershot also notched a double-doble in the game. Hendershot finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds in 32 minutes. Jessilyn Fairbanks and Maddie Rogers each scored 18 points for the Golden Bears. Fairbanks got to the free throw line 12 times, knocking down eight.
Saskatchewan got out to a strong start in front of an energized Saskatoon crowd. The Huskies raced out to a 9-2 lead in the opening minutes. However, Alberta remained composed and would cut the lead to three by the end of the first.
After falling behind in the second quarter, the Huskies trailed for the majority of the second and third periods. With 7:08 to go, Saskatchewan finally took back the lead. In the fourth the teams continued to slug it out back and forth hitting big shot after big shot. In the end, forty minutes was not enough for the two top 10 teams.
The two schools will match up again tomorrow night at 6:15 at the PAC.