by Nicole Betker
February 8, 2014, Winnipeg (ISN) – A strong start lifted the No 9 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies to an 85-72 victory over the University of Winnipeg Wesmen in a key Canada West Men’s Basketball contest Saturday night in Winnipeg.
The Huskies built a 19-2 lead five minutes into the opening quarter and never looked back.
Saskatchewan with the win improves it’s record to 15-5. Winnipeg with the loss falls to 13-7. The Huskies sit currently in second place in the Prairie Division standings. Winnipeg is currently in fourth. One game back of Lethbridge (14-6) for third place.
Four out of five Huskies starters figured in double digits led by Dadrian Collins who scored a game high 22 points, including going six-of-eight from three point territory. Matt Forbes was next with 17. Ben Baker had a double-double 15 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Stephon Lamar added 10 points and 13 assists.
Andrew Cunningham led the Wesmen with 21 points and seven assists. Jordan Clennon was next with 14. Christopher Baxter and Jelane Pryce each scored 10. Pryce and Steven Wesley led the team in rebounds with six.
After the explosive start by the Huskies, the Wesmen did manage to chip away at the Huskies lead cutting the margin down to 23-14 after the opening frame.
The Huskies continued to pour it on in the second quarter and after a three pointer by Andrew Henry the Huskies had their largest lead 35-14 with just over six minutes to play in the opening half. Winnipeg was able to cut down the lead once again and went into the halftime break trailing 42-29.
Saskatchewan was 18-of-31 (58%) from the field in the opening half. Winnipeg struggled going 11-for-36 (31%) in the opening 20 minutes.
The Huskies continued to hold a double-digit lead for the entire third quarter and went into the final frame with a 63-50 lead. Winnipeg went on a 9-2 run early in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 65-59 but the Huskies held off the Wesmen and cruised to the 85-72 victory.
Saskatchewan will be on the road next week in Edmonton to face the Alberta Golden Bears. Winnipeg will play Manitoba in a home and home series on Thursday (at U of M) and Friday at the U of Winnipeg).