Huskies Start Road to CIS Basketball Championship

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(ISN) – The University of Saskatchewan Huskies begin a journey Friday that could lead them to their third straight appearance at the CIS Men’s Basketball Championships.

After winning their first-ever national championship in 2009-10, the Huskies returned to the tournament in 2010-11 as Canada West silver medallists finishing fourth. The first step along the road is a Canada West quarter-final series against the Trinity Western University Spartans.

The Spartans hit the PAC Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if needed) in the quarter-final. The winner of this weekend’s best-of-three series advances to the Canada West Final Four March 2-3 with a chance to earn one of two Canada West berths to nationals in Halifax, March 9-11. If the Huskies win, Saskatchewan would make their last stand at the Final Four in the PAC.

Saskatchewan, who finished 16-4 in the regular season, sits on a 10 game winning streak and hasn’t lost in the PAC since November 7, 2010 in a game to the Fraser Valley Cascades. The 20-game home win streak includes 10 games this season and another 10 from 2011-12. The Huskies are 42-5 in the PAC since 2009-10.

Trinity Western took the final playoff spot in the pacific division with a 10-8 record.

Since 2003-04, the Huskies are 7-4 against Trintiy Western including a regular season 98-73 win in November at the PAC.

Both Saskatchewan and TWU find the net easily. The Huskies had the top offence throughout the regular season in the Canada West averaging 89.2 points per game. Trinity averaged 85.4.

In the regular season, the Huskies spread the ball around to score by committee with four starters in double digits. Reigning Canada West MVP Jamelle Barrett finished 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 averages 14.7, Jones 11.8 and Lieffers 13.4. Lieffers also led the Huskies and the Canada West with 11.2 rebounds per game.

The Spartans also scored by committee this season with four players averaging 12 or more points per game. Kyle Coston led the way averaging 18.8 per game, followed by Sean Peter with 17.7, Calvin Westbrook with 15.7 and Tristan Smith at 12.2. Peter also led his team with 5.9 rebounds per game.

Tipoff for the series is 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and, if necessary, Sunday at the PAC. The games will be webcast on www.canadawest.tv. For tickets call 306-966-1111 or visit huskies.usask.ca

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