February 16, 2012 (ISN) – Both already sealing dates in the postseason, the University of Saskatchewan Huskie basketball teams will close out the regular season at home Saturday.
Provincial rivals, the University of Regina Cougars, hit the PAC Saturday.
Both Huskie teams will honour their fifth-year athletes – Mary Hipperson, Amy Lackie, Katie Miyazaki, Duncan Jones, Michael Lieffers, Peter Lomuro and Chris Unsworth at the games.
Winners in 11 of 12 games in the second half, the No. 3 ranked Huskies will look to unravel the Regina Cougars perfect season.
The No. 1 ranked Cougars enter the game without a loss in the 2011-12 Canada West season at 19-0. But Saskatchewan (15-4), who extended their win streak to 10 games after 76-67 and 73-62 wins over the Manitoba Bisons last weekend, haven’t lost on home court since October 30, 2010. The home streak combines 13 home wins in the 2010-11 season and 10 in the current season. It also includes four playoff wins including the 77-74 victory over the Cougars in the Canada West Final in 2011.
Regina spreads around the offence to average a conference-high 84.3 points per game. Michelle Clark leads a foursome of Cougars’starters who average double digits a night with 14.8 points per game. Joanna Zalesiak and Lindsay Ledingham each add 12.6 and Danielle Schmidt tallies 10.3 per night. Ledingham, Zalesiak and Brittany Read, the fifth member of the starting lineup, are dangerous on the boards with 7.5, 6.3 and 6.1 rebounds a night each respectively. Read also adds eight points per game, while Carly Graham adds 8.6 a night off the Cougars’ bench.
Two-time CIS Defensive Player of the Year Katie Miyazaki leads the Huskies, and sits fourth in conference scoring, with 15.2 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game. Rookie post Dalyce Emmerson has made a big impression on the Canada West sitting first in the conference in rebounding with 10.4 boards per game and chipping in 13.6 points per night.
Since 2003-04, the Huskies are 8-7 against Regina.
With a win in Saturday’s game, the No. 3 ranked Huskies can clinch first place in the Canada West for the first time in history.
Finishing first in the Canada West, would earn Saskatchewan (15-4) – for the first time in history – the right to host the Canada West Final Four, if they should win their quarter-final series against the Trinity Western University Spartans.
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.
Saskatchewan sits on a nine game winning streak and haven’t lost in the PAC since November 7, 2010 in a game to the Fraser Valley Cascades. The 19 game home win streak includes 10 games this season and another nine from 2010-11. Regina (5-14) sits on the outside looking in on playoffs.
Since 2003-04, the Huskies are 10-3 against Regina including three playoff victories.
The Huskies have spread the ball scoring by committee with four starters in double digits. Reigning Canada West MVP Jamelle Barrett sits second in the conference in scoring averaging 21.1 points per game. Fifth-year players Peter Lomuro, Duncan Jones and Michael Lieffers bolster the Huskies’ offence. Lomuro scores 14.7, Jones 11.8 and Lieffers 13.4. Lieffers also leads the Huskies and the Canada West with 11.4 rebounds per game.
Paul Gareau leads the Cougars with 16.0 points per game, followed by Connor Burns with 11.6, Vule Grujic at 9.7 and Gradyn Childerhose at 9.3. Gareau and Burns also lead Regina on the boards with 7.4 and 8.0 each.