Sparked by a second half comeback, the No. 3 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies recorded a 76-67 win over the visiting University of Manitoba Bisons Friday night at the PAC in Saskatoon.
Down 35-38 at halftime, Saskatchewan took control of the game in the second half with strong defence holding the Bisons to just 13 points in the third and scoring 27 of their own.
Two drives to the net by Katie Miyazaki and Kabree Howard brought the Huskies within two at 35-33 to start the third quarter. Saskatchewan kept the game close until rookie guard Kelsey Trulsrud gave the Huskies the lead at 46-45 with two minutes left in the frame. Continuing to find the basket, Saskatchewan led 55-47 by the end of the third.
Manitoba continued to hit the basket and chipped away to bring the game back within two at 55-53 with seven minutes left. Mubo Ilelaboye hit a three to give the Bisons back the lead. But two quick drives down the court pulled the Huskies back in front 64-60. Saskatchewan never looked back and held on for the 76-67 win.
Rookie Dalyce Emmerson led the Huskies scoring 20 points and netting seven rebounds. Howard added 15 points for the Huskies and Miyazaki chipped in 13 and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Allison Balasko was the best on the night for the Bisons tallying 16 points, followed by Ilelaboye with 13. Stephanie Gill added another 10 and a team-high six rebounds.
With the win the Huskies improve to 14-4 on the season and need just one more win in two remaining games to lock up a home playoff date in a Canada West quarter-final series. Manitoba drops to 3-16.
Saskatchewan finished the game shooting 51%, while Manitoba shot 41%. The Huskies also out rebounded the Bisons at 37-24.
The two teams will battle again Saturday night. Tipoff is 6:15 p.m. at the PAC. The game will be webcast at www.canadawest.tv.