T-Birds snap Sask streak at home

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Nicole Betker

VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds halted a five-game Saskatchewan Huskies win streak on Saturday at War Memorial Gym, winning 76-64 to improve to 6-2 on the season.

UBC took a five point lead into the fourth, and the Huskies started out strong, cutting it down to two points, but the T-Birds began to pull away in the middle of the quarter.

Alex Vieweg got the ‘Birds started on a 9-0 run, pushing the lead to double digits. The Huskies never got closer than six points off the lead after that, and Vieweg provided a dagger with two minutes remaining, draining her layup through contact and completing the three-point play from the free throw line for a nine point UBC lead.

Aside from a 9-0 Saskatchewan run in the second quarter, the T-Birds were consistent on both sides of the ball on Saturday, earning a +9 turnover advantage and shooting close to 50 per cent from the field.

“It’s always nice when you don’t have any big lulls in the game,” said UBC head coach Deb Huband. “We were building a nice lead there in the second and then they went on a 9-0 run, and that’s something you don’t want to have happen too much, but overall I thought we did a better job taking care of the ball. We moved well as a team and shared the ball offensively.”

The T-Birds took a small lead into halftime thanks to the sharpshooting Kristen Hughes, who had 11 points at the break and was 3-for-3 from the three point line. Rookie guard Cassandra Knievel hit two of her three pointers in the half also.

Hughes ended up with a game-high 18 points and shot 4-for-7 from behind the arc.

“When you hit your ranged shots it opens up a lot of things and really complements your inside game. It was great to see Kristen get it going today,” said Huband. “She’s a very good three point shooter, and that’s been obvious over the last couple games but nice to see her really get it going tonight.”

Vieweg ended up with 17 points and four steals, and was also highly efficient offensively, draining seven of her nine shots.

Kris Young netted 10 points for UBC while leading the team with six rebounds and six assists.

Standout rookie centre Dalyce Emmerson was a force on the glass, grabbing 13 rebounds and adding 15 points, but the T-Birds did manage to force seven turnovers out of her and outscored the Huskies 26-16 off turnovers.

“She’s got great potential to be a real dominant post player in the CIS, and she’s having a great rookie year,” Huband said of Emmerson. “She’s going to be a load down the road but we did some good things to create some turnovers today. She’s certainly a lot to handle.”

Katie Miyazaki also had 15 points for the Huskies, who fall to 5-4 with the loss.

They will look to regroup in Calgary next weekend, when they take on the Dinos for two games.

The T-Birds will also head out on the road for their next four games. Next weekend they take on Thompson Rivers, followed by a trip to Manitoba before returning to War Memorial on January 27 for their next home action against UBC Okanagan.

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