Nicole Betker, University of Saskatchewan
SASKATOON – With a 72-50 victory Friday night at the PAC in Saskatoon, the University of Alberta Pandas were able to halt the No. 9 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies' nine game winning streak.
Entering the final home basketball weekend in Saskatoon, the Huskies hadn't lost since December 2 against the Regina Cougars.
It was the middle frames that helped secure Alberta the win.
The Pandas led by one at 16-15 after the first and the teams traded points to start the second. Tied at 22, Alberta went on an eight point run to close the first half for the 30-22 lead. Alberta continued to find the basket after halftime holding the Huskies to four points in the first five minutes of the third quarter. Alberta had a 58-36 lead by the end of the third and the Huskies couldn't recover in the fourth. Each team tallied 14 in the final 10 minutes.
With the win, Alberta improves to 15-2. Saskatchewan drops to 12-5.
Both the Pandas and Huskies have secured one of 12 spots granted in the Canada West women's basketball playoffs. The playoff teams are then seeded based on RPI to determine playoff matchups. The Huskies currently lead the conference in RPI, while Alberta sits third.
Fifth-year Maddie Rogers led the Pandas with 17 points on the night, while Emma Kary added another 12. Kary and Shay Crisp added four rebounds each.
Megan Ahlstrom led the Huskies with 16 points, while Vera Crooks tallied another 10. Ahlstrom also led the team in rebounds with five.
Alberta finished the game shooting 58.7%, while the Huskies shot at just 34%. Saskatchewan won the battle on the boards outrounding the Pandas 28-17.
The two teams will battle again Saturday night on Ron & Jane Graham Court at the PAC. Tipoff is slated for 6:15 p.m. in the final regular season home game in 2016-17.