Huskies host Wesmen in home opener

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Game Date: November 14 & 15 Game Location: PAC, Women: 6:15PM – Men: 8PM

The University of Saskatchewan basketball teams open the home portion of its schedule with a date against the Winnipeg Wesmen Friday and Saturday at the PAC.

· The women’s squad enters the weekend ranked No. 7 and is joined by three other Canada West teams, UBC (No. 2), Alberta (No. 3) and Winnipeg (No. 9) in the CIS Top 10.

· The Saskatchewan women opened the season with two seven point losses to the Alberta Pandas on the road on October 31 and November 1. Winnipeg has opened the season with two sweeps over the Calgary Dinos and Lethbridge Pronghorns.

· The men’s squad enters the weekend ranked No. 9 and is joined by two other Canada West teams, Victoria (No. 8) and Alberta (No. 10) in the CIS Top 10.

· Both the men and women had a bye in the second week of Canada West competition.

· Friday night, Huskie Athletics will unveil the 2013-14 Canada West Championship banner won by the women’s team. The ceremony will happen postgame.

· Huskie Athletics is inviting Huskie Nation to donate new and gently-used winter apparel at Huskie basketball at the PAC this weekend. Huskie Athletics will also be selling branded mittens for fans to purchase and keep or donate back to the cause. Fans who donate to the cause will receive a bag of NEW dark roast blend coffee courtesy of Tim Hortons. The winter apparel, as well as cash proceeds from the mitten sales, will be given to the Care and Share Program through Coats For Kids. The Huskies are proud partners with Rock 102 for this project.

The Huskies are 9-11 against the Wesmen since 1999. The two teams have split the two-game series in the last two seasons.

Four games into the Canada West season, the Winnipeg Wesmen are undefeated.

Opening the season with a sweep of the Calgary Dinos at home, followed by a sweep of the Lethbridge Pronghorns on the road, Winnipeg has the third-best offence in the conference scoring 280 points in the four games. The Wesmen have also used the three-ball to beat opponents making the second most in the Canada West at 7.2 per game.

The majority of the offence for the Wesmen comes from Stephanie Kleysen and Megan Noonan with 18.8 and 18.2 points per game respectively. Kleysen also adds 6.5 rebounds per game.

Despite starting the season with two straight losses, the Huskies don’t expect to be on the wrong end.

Opening the season with reigning Canada West MVP and Defensive Player of the Year Dalyce Emmerson playing limited time for injury recovery, the Huskies relied on others to score in the games against Alberta. Third-year guard Desarae Hogberg led the team on the weekend averaging 16 points per game, while newcomer CIS-transfer Laura Dally added another 11.5 and fifth-year point guard Kabree Howard 9.5. Emmerson still managed to average eight rebounds.

Since the 2008-09 season, the Huskies are 10-1 against Winnipeg. The lone Wesmen win came last season 91-60 in Winnipeg on February 7.

Opening the season at .500, the Winnipeg Wesmen have been swept at home by the Calgary Dinos and won on the road over the Lethbridge Pronghorns.

Winnipeg’s offence sits middle of the pack at sixth in the Canada West scoring 296 points, but the Wesmen lead with 11.8 steals per game.

Mark McNee leads Winnipeg with 15.5 points per game while averaging 7 rebounds. Christopher Baxter adds another 13.5 points per game, while Jelane Pryce has scored 11.2 and Travis Krahn 10.2. Jordan Clennon and Ryan Oirbans each average over two steals per game.

Saskatchewan opened the season with a split with rival the Alberta Golden Bears on the road. The Huskies won 72-60 to open the Canada West season on October 31 before losing 77-63 a night later.

Seniors Matthew Forbes and Ben Baker led the Huskies in the weekend series with 13 points per game and 11.5 respectively. The two were also strong on the boards with Forbes collecting 9.5 rebounds per game and Baker five. Connor Burns and Evan Ostertag also chipped in with the scoring averaging 10 points per game. Burns also added 5.5 rebounds per game.