|St. Denis Centre|
|Pts: Dalyce Emmerson – 23||Pts: Justine Colley – 38|
|Reb: Dalyce Emmerson – 12||Reb: Laura Langille – 12|
|Ast: Kabree Howard – 3||Ast: Justine Colley – 4|
|Team Statistics||Saskatchewan||Saint Mary’s|
|Field Goal %||29.8% (17-57)||40.9% (27-66)|
|Pts off Turnovers||4||14|
|2nd Chance Pts||16||17|
|Pts in the Paint||22||34|
Photo credit Edwin Tam
WINDSOR, Ont. (CIS) – Justine Colley, the reigningtwo-time CIS player of the year, tallied a tournament-high 38points and the second-seeded Saint Mary’s Huskies earned theirfirst-ever berth in a national final after using a strong secondhalf to overcome No. 3 Saskatchewan 67-54 in the first semi-finalof the ArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS women’s basketball championshipson Saturday afternoon.
“We’re ecstatic to be in the national final,”said Colley, whose career-high in AUS action is 43 points, set backin 2010. “Tonight was just one of those games whereeverything seemed to fall into place for me. But first and foremostit was a total team effort. And we’ll need another goodperformance like that tomorrow.”
The fifth-year guard shot a formidable 15-of-26 and a perfect3-of-3 from beyond the arc and nearly recorded a double-double,adding nine rebounds, four assists and four steals for SMU.Rachelle Coward tallied 15 points and eight boards while LauraLangille added 12 rebounds in the win.
“We made some adjustments at the half. I thought we weresharper on defence in the second half,” said SMU head coachScott Munro. “I’ve seen Justine have a number of greatgames over the years, but not many better than this one. They sayyour best players need to be your best players in big games, andthat’s what she did today.”
Saint Mary’s improved its unblemished record to 31-0 against CISopponents in 2013-14 with the victory, and have also earned theirbest-ever performance at a national championship. Their highestresult previous was a bronze-medal last season.
SMU will play either No. 1 Windsor or No. 5 Fraser Valley in theFinal 8 championship game on Sunday at 8 p.m. live on Sportsnet360.
“We played a very solid first half, we were obviouslypleased to go into the break with the lead,” saidSaskatchewan bench boss Lisa Thomaidis, who was Colley’s headcoach last summer with the senior national team. “They wenton a run early in the second half and we just couldn’t stopthem. Justine is a great player, and she proved it again tonight.Hats off to Saint Mary’s. They deserve to be in thefinal.”
The Huskies from Canada West were led by Dalyce Emmerson whorecorded 23 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double in a losingcause. Saskatchewan will try to win their second-ever CIS bronze onSunday afternoon in the third-place match which begins at 5:00 p.m.and will be available live at cis-sic.tv.
The first national semi-final of the day got off to an explosivestart with the teams combining for 25 points in the opening fiveminutes of play. Colley tallied five of her team’s first 12 points,while Kabree Howard did the same for Saskatchewan.
Emerson heated up, hitting consecutive lay-ins to put the CanadaWest champions up by five with three minutes to play in the openingstanza. The Canada West first-team all-star denied an SMU attemptand proceeded to sink both her foul shots after taking some harmunder the basket to help increase the lead.
However, six quick points from the AUS title-holders, four ofwhich came from Colley, brought them back within a single point ofevening the contest.
The fellow first-team CIS all-Canadians went basket-for-basketsoon after, as an Emmerson lay-in from the post was followed byanother Colley jumper. The all-star pair put on a show for the St.Denis Centre crowd, combining for 21 points after one quarter ofplay that had Saskatchewan up 23-20.
Colley went on a tear late in the half, hitting back-to-backfloating jumpers to bring her team back within a point ofSaskatchewan. After the East Preston, N.S. native drained her thirdbasket in a row off a turnover to even the game at 32-32,Saskatchewan called timeout to stem the AUS Huskies tide.
A three-pointer by Coward with under a minute remaining in thehalf put SMU back in front. However, Emmerson answered with thefinal two points of an entertaining first half to put Saskatchewanup 36-35 at the break.
The Prince Albert, Sask. native found Humbert with a back-doorbounce pass for an easy lay-in, and followed that with a reboundand put-back on Saskatchewan’s next possession to give them athree-point lead. Emerson took a great no-look pass from Howard forthe easy lay-in, increasing their lead to five.
Colley responded with a steal and fast-break lay-up, starting an10-0 run for SMU. Coward swung a three-point basket and Becky Nashgrabbed two more points before Emmerson nailed two foul shots tohalt the Saint Mary’s streak. But Colley would not be denied in thefinal minutes of the third, netting seven straight points as SMUwent on a 22-3 run in the third to take a 56-45 lead in the fourthquarter.
Coward opened the final period with a three to push the lead to14, and Colley converted another three-point play. Desarae Hogberghit a three in an attempt to bring Saskatchewan back into thecontest but turned the ball over to Colley on her next possession,who maintained SMU’s double-digit lead.
Saint Mary’s went on to earn their spot in the championshipgame, holding the top seed from Canada West to single digits ineach of the final two quarters.
SMU shot 40.9% from the field compared to 29.8% fromSaskatchewan. The rebound battle was a stalemate as both teamspicked up 42 rebounds.
SMU 20-15-21-11: 67
SSK 23-13-9-9: 54
Points: Justine Colley (38), Rachelle Coward (15), Laura Langille(7)
Rebounds: Laura Langille (12), Justine Colley (9)
Assists: Justine Colley (4)
Player of the game: Justine Colley
Points: Dalyce Emmerson (23), Kabree Howard (9), Riley Humbert(8)
Rebounds: Dalyce Emmerson (12), Kelsey Trulsrud (6)
Assists: Kabree Howard (3)
CHAMPIONSHIPSCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times EASTERN TIME)
Friday, March 14
13:00 Quarter-final 1: Saint Mary’s 71, Alberta 51
15:00 Quarter-final 2: Saskatchewan 61, Queen’s 52
18:00 Quarter-final 3: Windsor 81, Wilfrid Laurier 53
20:00 Quarter-final 4: Fraser Valley 74, McGill 60
Saturday, March 15
10:00 Consolation 1: Alberta 67, Queen’s 55
12:00 Consolation 2: McGill 58, Wilfrid Laurier 51
15:00 Semifinal 1: Saint Mary’s 67, Saskatchewan 54
17:00 Semifinal 2: No. 1 Windsor vs. No. 5 Fraser Valley (Sportsnet360 / www.CIS-SIC.tv*)
Sunday, March 16
15:00 5th Place: No. 7 Alberta vs. No. 4 McGill (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
17:00 Bronze: No. 3 Saskatchewan vs. TBD (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
20:00 Final: No. 2 Saint Mary’s vs. TBD (Sportsnet 360 /
* The webcast of all 3 televised games (semifinals & final)will be on pay-per-view basis.
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body ofuniversity sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and700 coaches from 55 universities and four regional associations viefor 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS alsoprovides high performance international opportunities for Canadianstudent-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well asnumerous world university championships. For further information,visit www.cis-sic.ca or followus on: