By: Daniel Herrick, University of Saskatchewan
SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan Huskies locked up a spot in the Canada West Final Four with an 88-77 victory over the Winnipeg Wesmen Friday night on Ron and Jane Graham Court at the PAC.
After winning 85-84 against the Wesmen on Thursday, Saskatchewan sweeps the best-of-three Canada West quarter-final series 2-0.
The second seeded Huskies will face the winner of the quarter-final series between the third seeded Alberta Golden Bears and sixth seeded Lethbridge Pronghorns. The No. 1 seed in the Canada West, the Calgary Dinos, will host the conference championship after defeating Thompson Rivers 2-0 in its quarter-final matchup.
It will be the third appearance in the last four years at the Canada West Final Four for Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan got off to a hot start in Game 2. The Huskies knocked down an impressive 7-of-9 three pointers en route to scoring 31 points in the opening period. The home squad did it on both ends in the quarter, holding Winnipeg to just eight points.
Despite being down by 23 points going into the second, the Wesmen began to battle back. Winnipeg outscored Saskatchewan 25-17 in the second quarter to reduce the gap to 15 points at the break.
The Wesmen continued to slowly chip away at the Huskie lead in the third quarter. A Jamar Farley three pointer with 1:30 to go made it just 56-54 for the Huskies. Saskatchewan would push the lead back to six by the end of the quarter, leading 60-54.
Winnipeg would not go away in the fourth, sticking within five points in the early going. An 11-2 Huskie spurt midway through the fourth gave the Huskies a nine-point cushion that they would grow as large as 15 in the closing moments.
Four of the five Huskie starters reached double-digits in scoring in the game. Shane Osayande led the way with 21 points and finished just a rebound shy of a 20-20 game with 19 boards. Alex Unruh added another 20 points for the Huskies, while Lawrence Moore and Trevor Severinski chipped in with 18 and 16 points respectively.
Narcisse Ambanza led the Wesmen with 18 points in the game to go along with five assists. Denzel Lynch-Blair scored another 14 points for Winnipeg, with Sean Tarver adding another 12 points coming off the bench.
Saskatchewan will tip off in the conference semifinal at 3 p.m. MT