QUEBEC CITY – The UBC Thunderbirds finished the 2014-15 season on high note, defeating the Saskatchewan Huskies 73-61 to take the bronze medal at the CIS Women’s Basketball Final 8 on Sunday morning in Quebec City. The game was a rematch of the Canada West and once again, it was UBC that came out as victors. In five meetings between the squads this year, Saskatchewan won just once.
“I am really proud with the way the girls came out and battled. It’s always nice to finish a season on a win. It is a tough game to play,” said Deb Huband, coach of the bronze medallist Thunderbirds. “Both teams are disappointed of their performances yesterday. It was an opportunity to come back on the floor and have some fun and compete. It shows determination and heart and I think both teams showed of lot of that this morning.”
The Thunderbirds led from the opening tip to the final whistle but didn’t fully take control until they pulled off an 18-4 run that extended its advantage to 73-57 with just over a minute left in the game.
It was the last university game for three UBC players, forwards Lauren Seabrook (North Vancouver, B.C.) and Harleen Sidhu (Surrey, B.C.) and guard Kris Young (North Vancouver, B.C).
Young and Sidhu finished off in style, leading the team in scoring and rebounding, respectively. Young recorded 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Sidhu knocked down 16 points and grabbed 11 boards.
Young began UBC’s late-game run with an offensive rebound and put back to make it 57-53 in favour of the blue and gold. She ended up scoring eight of the 18 points in the T-Bird surge that lasted 4:17.
The Thunderbirds opened with the game’s first seven points, capped off by a Sidhu layup. The Huskies responded and were within a bucket late in the first quarter after Desarae Hogberg’s layup with about a minute and a half to go. But the T-Birds rolled off the next nine points to gain their first double-digit lead at 22-11 early in the second quarter. Again, it was Young who got things going, this time with a triple after Hogberg’s basket.
Four Saskatchewan three-point shots over the net 3:21 closed the gap again to just a bucket. The first half ended with UBC ahead 40-34.
The Huskies closed to gap further in the third, finishing the period down just 49-48 before the Thunderbirds pulled away in the fourth.
UBC made 28 of its 69 shots from the field (40.6 per cent) and was credited with an assist on 26 of them. Guard Cherub Lum (Vancouver) had six to lead the ‘Birds, who take home their second Final 8 medal in four years and ninth overall, after six gold and two silver.
The team finishes with a 30-5 overall record, which included a 17-3 mark in Canada West regular season play and wins in six of its seven postseason outings. The ‘Birds also claimed their eighth Canada West banner this year in head coach Deb Huband‘s 20th season with the squad.
With the conclusion of the season, fifth-year guard Young capped off one of the greatest careers in UBC women’s basketball history. This season, became the first T-Bird to ever win the Canada West Most Valuable Player award twice.
The Handsworth Secondary School graduate also became the program’s all-time regular season scoring leader and then set a new single-game school record in the Final 8 quarter-finals by knocking down 40 points against Ryerson, breaking the 22-year old mark of 39.
SSK 11-23-14-13: 61
Points: Kris Young (25), Harleen Sidhu (16), Adrienne Parkin (14)
Rebounds: Harleen Sidhu (11), Kris Young (7), Kara Spotton (5)
Assists: Cherub Lum (6)
Player of the game: Kris Young
Points: Laura Dally (21), Kelsey Trulsrud (13), Desarae Hogberg (9)
Rebounds: Kelsey Trulsrud (14), Dalyce Emmerson (8)
Assists: Desarae Hogberg (3), Dalyce Emmerson (3), Kabree Howard (3)
Player of the game: Kelsey Trulsrud
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS
Thursday, March 12
12:30 Quarter-final 1: No. 3 McGill 67, No. 6 Saint Mary’s 59
14:30 Quarter-final 2: No. 2 UBC 81, No. 7 Ryerson 59
18:00 Quarter-final 3: No. 1 Windsor 91, No. 8 Laval 57
20:00 Quarter-final 4: No. 4 Saskatchewan 70, No. 5 Alberta 63
Friday, March 13
18:00 Consolation 1: No. 7 Ryerson 76, No. 6 Saint Mary’s 60
20:00 Consolation 2: No. 5 Alberta 62, No. 8 Laval 50
Saturday, March 14
12:00 Semifinal 1: No. 3 McGill 59, No. 2 UBC 57
14:30 Semifinal 2: No. 1 Windsor 75, No. 4 Saskatchewan 61
16:30 5th-place game: No. 5 Alberta 73, No. 7 Ryerson 65
Sunday, March 15
10:00 Bronze: No. 2 UBC 73, No. 4 Saskatchewan 61
13:00 Final: No. 3 McGill vs. No. 1 Windsor (Sportsnet 360 / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
* The ENGLISH webcast of the semifinals & final are on pay-per-view basis. The French webcast is free.
– with files from Stephane Jobin (Laval University Sports Information)