Daniel Herrick, University of Saskatchewan
SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan's 78-69 win over the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades on Saturday afternoon on Ron & Jane Graham Court at the PAC advances the Huskies to host the Canada West Final Four next weekend.
Saskatchewan earns a 2-1 Canada West quarter-final series win. The Huskies won the opening game of the series 78-55 before the Cascades forced a deciding game with a 74-62 victory in Game 2.
The Huskies will make an appearance in the Canada West Final Four for the fourth straight season. It is the second straight year that the Huskies will play host in the conference final.
Saskatchewan will play the fourth-seeded Alberta Pandas in the semifinal after Alberta advanced past UBC 2-0. The No. 2 seed Regina will face the third-seeded Winnipeg Wesmen in the other semifinal.
Sabine Dukate and Summer Masikewich each scored 19 points for the Huskies in the win. Dukate grabbed seven rebounds and recorded four assists, while Masikewich collected a team-high eight boards. Megan Ahlstrom had her best game of the series with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
Taylor Claggett led the way for the Cascades with 19 points and nine rebounds. Claggett did the majority of her damage from the free throw line, going 13-of-16 from the line.
The Huskies jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in Game 3 and maintained the advantage throughout the first to lead 22-18 after the first 10 minutes. Saskatchewan grew the lead to eight early in the second quarter before the Cascades went on a 7-0 spurt. UFV took its first lead of the game at 32-31 with 1:31 to go in the half. Masikewich banked in a shot to give Saskatchewan a 33-32 lead at halftime.
Saskatchewan took control again in the third, working up a 10 point advantage late in the quarter. UFV battled back again, cutting the deficit to three with under a minute to go. Saskatchewan quickly answered with five straight points to hold an eight point advantage heading to the fourth.
Once again in the fourth, Saskatchewan stretched the lead to 10. This time, the deficit was too much for the visiting Cascades, who were playing their sixth postseason game, as the Huskies cruised to the 11 point victory.
The Huskies shot 40.9% in the game, while UFV shot at 38.2%.
Saskatchewan and Alberta will play at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, followed by Regina and Winnipeg. The bronze medal game will go March 4 at 5 p.m. with the final set to tip off at 7 p.m.