By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
(ISN) – VANCOUVER, B.C. – The University of Saskatchewan Huskies will have the opportunity to vie for their fourth overall and second-straight Canada West banner after dropping the Victoria Vikes, 77-61, in the conference semifinal on Mar. 6 at UBC’s War Memorial Gym in Vancouver. The Huskies will meet hosts UBC for Canada West gold, while both teams have now secured spots at this year’s CIS Final 8, hosted in Laval, Mar. 12-15.
It was a Hamilton, Ont. night for Victoria as St. Mary Catholic Secondary graduates Jenna Bugiardiniand Amira Giannattasio were the lone double-digit scorers. Giannattasio put up a team-high 20 points, while Bugiardini dropped 18. The team logged only five turnovers but had no other player break more than seven points scored. It was a tough evening for fifth years Cassandra Goodis and Jessica Renfrew, who because of foul trouble, were unable to make their usual impact. It has been a long road for the senior duo, who will still have the opportunity to bring home a conference medal tomorrow.
Fourth year Kelsey Trulsrud led the Huskies with 19 points and 11 rebounds on the night. Canada West First Team All-Star and fourth year Dalyce Emmerson was unstoppable, with a double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds. Three others hit double digits including Laura Dally (18), Riley Humbert (10) and Kabree Howard (10). Saskatchewan out-rebounded Victoria 60-32.
It was all Huskies in the opening quarter as the reigning conference champions dominated in the opening minutes. Senior Kabree Howard put up seven unanswered points during a 12-0 run. The Vikes got on the board through the left hand of Bugiardini but were unable to push much past the defensive wall of six-foot-three Emmerson. Saskatchewan took a 21-10 lead entering the second.
Early on the Huskies showed their shooting form as two quick buckets from Emmerson kept Saskatchewan up by double digits for most of the quarter. Canada West Third Team All-Star Dallystarted to show why she was one of the conference’s top scorers putting up 10 points for the Huskies from all areas of the floor. The Vikes, however, did manage to chip away at the lead with the addition ofAshley McGinnis and Shaylyn Crisp on to the floor. Following a Dally three pointer Crisp, followed by McGinnis put up distance shots but the Huskies’ early damage kept the game at 43-31 entering half time.
A half time break proved effective for the Vikes as Nicole Karstein and Bugiardini came out firing and sparked a 10-0 run for Victoria to cut Saskatchewan’s lead to six points, 47-41, with under five minutes to go in the third. Dally and Emmerson continued to be a force to contend with under both hoops as the Vikes have just one key player, Karstein, breaking six feet. Saskatchewan led 58-46 entering the final frame.
In the fourth Saskatchewan continued their rampage with Trulsrud adding a late spark for the Huskies on route to out-scoring the Vikes 19-15. The Vikes had some key baskets from Giannattasio but were unable to make up for the early deficit. Karstein fouled out mid-way through the quarter, leaving Emmerson hardly guarded. Saskatchewan continued to drive the net eventually taking the game 77-61.
Up next the Vikes will face Alberta in the Canada West bronze medal game at 5 p.m., while the Huskies will face hosts, the Thunderbirds, for gold at 7 p.m. Both games will be played at War Memorial Gym in Vancouver and will be broadcast with live video and stats at canadawest.tv.
SASK: 21-22-15-19 : 77
UVIC: 10-21-15-15 : 61
SASK: Kelsey Trulsrud (19), Laura Dally (18), Dalyce Emmerson (15)
UVIC: Amira Giannattasio (20), Jenna Bugiardini (18)