Huskies Rebound to Top Pandas

Photo Credit: Josh Schaefer Photography
Photo Credit: Josh Schaefer Photography

SASKATOON – The No. 1 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies avenged Friday night's loss to the No. 6 ranked University of Alberta Pandas with a 73-61 win on Saturday night at the PAC.

Fifth-year forward Dalyce Emmerson had a massive night with 25 points and 21 rebounds for the Huskies in her final regular season game at the PAC. Emmerson finished the night 10-for-22 from the field and five-of-seven from the free throw line. Six of her game-high 15 rebounds came on the offensive end.

The Huskies improve to 17-1 with the win on fifth-year night, while the Pandas fall to 17-2. Saskatchewan now ties Alberta for first with 17 wins on the season, but the Huskies do have an extra game on the schedule.

The top four teams in the Pioneer Division match up against each other in the last weekend of the Canada West schedule. The Huskies travel to Regina (16-2) next weekend to take on the third place Cougars in the regular season finale series. Alberta will host the fourth place Calgary Dinos (16-5).

Saskatchewan controls its own playoff destiny. A weekend sweep or a split with the Cougars would guarantee the top seed in the Pioneer Division and hosting duties throughout the Canada West post-season.

After a thrilling overtime game on Friday, the two teams went right back to where they left off a night earlier in Saturday's contest trading buckets back and forth in the game's opening minutes. Saskatchewan pulled ahead late in the opening period to take an 18-13 lead at the end of 10 minutes.

In the second the Huskies continued to grow their lead, slowly extending the cushion to 10 at 38-28 entering halftime. Saskatchewan shot 48.1 percent in the opening half compared to just 27.8 percent shooting by the Pandas.

With Saskatchewan up 12 in the third, it looked like the Huskies might pull ahead for good in this one until a quick 10-0 spurt by the Pandas brought things back to 42-40 for the home squad. Saskatchewan went up eight late in the third, only to have the Pandas hit back-to-back three point shots, the latter with the buzzer sounding to end the quarter, to cut the deficit back down to two at 51-49.

With six minutes to go in the fourth and the game tied at 53 the Huskies came out of timeout and made their push to the finish. Saskatchewan outscored Alberta 20-8 down the stretch to come away with the key victory.

Saskatchewan finished the night shooting 45 percent from the field, while Alberta ended up at 32.8 percent. The Huskies held a big advantage on the glass, outrebounding the Pandas 51-29.

Laura Dally added another 20 points for the Huskies, highlighted by a four-for-seven performance from three-point territory. Kelsey Trulsrud finished two points shy of a double-double with eight points and 12 rebounds.

Jessilyn Fairbanks led the Pandas with 21 points on 8-of-20 shooting. Fairbanks added five rebounds and five steals for Alberta. Elle Hendershot grabbed a team-high seven boards.