February 9, 2012
(ISN) Both already clinching a date in the postseason, the University of Saskatchewan Huskie basketball teams will fight for home court advantage in a weekend series at the PAC.
The University of Manitoba Bisons hit the PAC Friday & Saturday night.
Winners in nine of 10 games in the second half, the No. 3 ranked Huskies will look to lock up home court advantage for a Canada West best-of-three quarter-final series.
Saskatchewan (13-4), who sealed a playoff berth with a sweep over the Winnipeg Wesmen last weekend, will need to win two of their three remaining games in the Canada West regular season to earn home court advantage in the first round of playoffs. The top two teams in each of the Canada West basketball divisions host a quarter-final series with a cross over team from the other division. If the Huskies were to host, the Victoria Vikes, Trinity Western Spartans or Thompson Rivers WolfPack could be the opponent.
The No. 3 ranked Huskies extended their win streak to eight games after a 71-60 win and 70-66 overtime victory over Winnipeg. Down 30-19 at halftime in the overtime win, the Huskies showed just how dangerous they could be on both sides of the ball holding the Wesmen to just eight points and scoring 20 of their own in the fourth quarter to force the extra time. Once again, rookie post Dalyce Emmerson continued to turn heads recording her ninth double double of the season.
At 3-15 on the season, Manitoba will be on the outside looking in but will enjoy the opportunity to spoil the Huskies home court bid. The Bisons haven’t won a game since 53-37 win over the Brandon Bobcats on November 19.
Two-time CIS Defensive Player of the Year Miyazaki leads the Huskies, and sits third in conference scoring, with 15.9 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game. Emmerson has made a big impression on the Canada West sitting first in the conference in rebounding with 10.6 boards per game and chipping in 12.8 points per night.
Despite the rough season, the Bisons are a talented offensive team that has the ability to find the net. Mubo Ilelaboye has been the strongest for the Bisons averaging 12.5 points per game. Allison Balasko has also chipped in with 8.9 points per game and leads Manitoba with 6.4 rebounds per game.
Since 2003-04, the Huskies are 8-8 against Manitoba.
The No. 3 ranked Huskies have already sealed a date at the PAC for the best-of-three quarter-finals but their eyes are on a much larger prize – first place in the conference.
Saskatchewan (13-4) needs to win two of three remaining games to seal first place in the Prairie Division. The Huskies also have the chance of finishing first in the Canada West with wins in all three remaining games and one loss by the Victoria Vikes. Finishing first in the Canada West, would earn the Huskies – for the first time in history – the right to host the Canada West Final Four, if they should win their quarter-final series.
The top two teams in each of the Canada West basketball divisions host a quarter-final series with a cross over team from the other division. The winners of the quarter-finals compete in the Canada West Final Four.
The Huskies sealed the home playoff date for the quarter-final with a sweep over the Winnipeg Wesmen last weekend. Saskatchewan sits on a seven game winning streak. Manitoba (8-10) is still in the battle for a playoff spot with the Lethbridge Pronghorns and Calgary Dinos.
Since 2002-03, the Huskies are 12-1 against Manitoba. The Bisons’ lone win came 89-85 in Winnipeg in 2007-08.
While on the win steak, the Huskies have spread the ball scoring by committee with three or more players in double digits. Reigning Canada West MVP Jamelle Barrett sits second in the conference in scoring averaging 20.1 points per game. Fifth-year players Peter Lomuro, Duncan Jones and Michael Lieffers all who average double digits bolster the Huskies’ offence. Lomuro scores 14.1, Jones 12.5 and Lieffers 11.8. Lieffers also leads the Huskies with 10.5 rebounds per game.
Despite their record, the Manitoba Bisons sport the top offence in the conference averaging 86.9 points per game. Kurtis Sansregret leads the Bisons with 14.5 points per game, followed by Stephan Walton with 13.5, Kevin Oliver at 13.3 and Jonar Huetras at 11.4. As a team the Bisons have been strong on the boards averaging 40.3 per game. Oliver leads the Bobcats in the category with 8.7 a night.
In 2011-12, Huskie Athletics will celebrate 100 years of Huskie Pride with Centennial celebrations! Huskie Athletics has 95 Canada West Championships and 25 CIS Championships under its belt. Huskie athletes leave the campus and the University of Saskatchewan with the skills to become successful at work, with family and in the community. Home to 893 all-stars since 1920, Huskie Athletics strives each year to provide quality programs for athletes while they prepare for the future. Huskie tickets can be purchased by calling, 306-966-1111 or online at huskies.usask.ca.