VICTORIA – A second quarter that saw the University of Saskatchewan Huskies outscore the UVic Vikes by 12 points made all the difference as the No. 8 ranked Huskies stormed into Victoria and picked up an 89-79 win inside the CARSA Performance Gym on Nov. 17.
The Huskies recorded 17 offensive boards compared to the Vikes 8 in the contest, and move their record to a perfect 5-0 with the win. The Vikes meanwhile, drop to 4-3 on the season after they started the season by winning their first four games in a row.
“They made us pay for our mistakes, we weren’t very disciplined at either end,” said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. “We gave up too many offensive rebounds and 12 three-pointers against a team that can really shoot the ball.”
Libby Epoch and Sabine Dukate both scored 21 points for the victorious Huskies. Epoch was five-for-seven from beyond-the-arc while Dukate was a perfect six-for-six from the charity stripe.
Summer Masikewich rounded out the scoring for the Huskies with 14 points while being limited to 22 minutes due to foul trouble.
Kristy Gallagher scored a game-high 28 points in the loss and was an impressive 11-for-17 from the field.
“We let them have too many possessions, they had almost twenty more possessions than we did in the game,” said Gallagher. “We need to limit the turnovers on our end and stop them from getting second chance points.”
Third-year forward Marissa Dheensaw added 15 points and eight rebounds in the game.
The Vikes defence came out of the gates strong and the team was able to limit the Huskies to just six-for-20 from the field in the opening quarter. UVic opened up an 11-3 lead halfway through the first quarter and a jumper from Gallagher forced the Huskies into calling a timeout with 5:50 left in the quarter.
Whatever was said during that timeout had an immediate effect on the game, as the Huskies stormed back to go on a 14-6 run throughout the rest of the opening frame to tie the teams up at 17 after the first quarter of play.
“We made undisciplined plays that handed the momentum back to them in the first half,” said Sinclair. “They are a very good team and did a lot of things to take us out of our game but sometimes we just did it to ourselves.”
It was the Huskies turn to step up the defence in the second quarter, they limited the Vikes to just three-for-15 from the field and outscored UVic 26-14 in the frame.
Saskatchewan took their first double-digit lead of the game by a score of 36-26 with four minutes left in the half and some solid shooting allowed them to take their largest lead yet in the game, 43-31, into the halftime break.
A back and forth third quarter did little to separate the teams, every time the Vikes looked to be making a run the Huskies would find an answer.
A buzzer beater from Gallagher ended the third quarter with the Vikes trailing 61-50.
Both offences exploded in the fourth and final frame to the tune of 29 and 28 points respectively.
The Vikes fought back late in the game and got it to as close as 76-84 with 40 seconds left to play but that was as close as they would get as an experienced Huskies squad pulled away late for the comfortable victory.
These two teams are back in action tomorrow night, Saturday Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. That game can be watched live at Canadawest.tv.
For Sinclair the message of defensive responsibility and offensive discipline that she has bee preaching throughout the start of the season will remain the same.
“That’s been the message throughout the year and it’s not getting through, the people that are in have to step up because the result is not going to change,” said Sinclair. “You can’t hope and pray that a team is going to miss shots.”
UVIC: 17-14-19-29: 79
SASK: 17-26-18-28: 89