Nicole Betker, University of Saskatchewan
SASKATOON – The No. 9 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies narrowly hung on for an 85-84 win over the University of Winnipeg Wesmen in Game 1 of a Canada West quarter-final series Thursday night on Ron & Jane Graham Court at the PAC.
Trading points back-and-forth in the final two minutes of the game after multiple lead changes in the fourth quarter, the Wesmen missed two free throws with under a minute left. Shane Osayande threw down his fifth dunk of the night to take an 83-81 lead with 34 seconds left. Narcisse Ambanza missed a three-point shot for the Wesmen on their trip down the court. Lawrence Moore hit both free throws after Winnipeg fouled on the next play for a Saskatchewan 85-81 lead with seconds left. Jamar Farley hit a circus shot from the Huskies' offensive zone at the buzzer for the 85-84 loss.
With the win, the Huskies take the 1-0 lead in the best-of-three men's basketball series.
Saskatchewan led 24-21 after the first quarter and the Wesmen had the lead at 46-44 at halftime. The Wesmen's Sean Tarver hit a three-pointer with 14 seconds left in the half for the lead. Winnipeg also had a 66-65 at the end of the third.
Osayande finished the night recording a double-double with 26 points and 15 rebounds. Three more Huskies recorded double-digits in the win including Lawrence Moore with 15 points, Trevor Severinski with 13 and Matt Forbes at 10.
Ambanze led the Wesmen on the night with 24 points, while Tarver tallied 18 and Farley another 16. Ryan Oirbans led the Wesmen on the boards with five rebounds.
Winnipeg shot at 44.3% in the game, while the Huskies shot 50.8%. The Huskies also won the battle on the boards outrebounding Winnipeg 42-24.
Turnovers were a problem for the Huskies in the game. Winnipeg scored 20 of its points from the 20 Huskies' errors in the game.
Tipoff on Game 2 is at 8:30 p.m. Friday night, while Game 3, if needed, will be played Saturday at 4 p.m.