Huskies cruise past Wesmen, advance to Canada West semifinal

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Everything was clicking for the No. 1 seed University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s basketball team as they dominated on both ends of the court for a 102-56 victory over the No. 12 Winnipeg Wesmen in Canada West playoff action inside the PAC on February 15.

With the win, Saskatchewan sweeps the best-of-three series and will now prepare to host a conference semifinal in Saskatoon next week.

“Whoever we go up against next weekend is going to be a tough team,” said Huskies head coach Lisa Thomaidis. “It’s great that we have secured home court for the semifinals and this one is a big one because if you win the semifinals you know you are going to nationals and playing for a Canada West banner.”

The Wesmen meanwhile see their playoff run and season come to an end as the team that defeated the No. 5 UBC Thunderbirds in a play-in game was unable to pull off the upset two weekends in a row.

Saskatchewan led in every statistical category at the end of the night, outshooting the Wesmen 57.4 – 29.7 per cent from the floor, hitting 13 three-pointers compared to Winnipeg’s four and grabbing 36 more rebounds than the visitors.

“It’s fantastic we have that ability to knock down those threes and it just seemed like the exact opposite of how we shot last night to start the game,” said Thomaidis. “There were a lot of different people making shots, the ball was moving and that’s the way we like to play.”

Sabine Dukate led the way with 21 points for the Huskies as the fourth-year guard went 7-of-11 from long distance. Summer Masikewich scored 18 points and added 10 rebounds, while Megan Ahlstrom and Libby Epoch also hit double-digits for the Huskies, putting up 14 and 11 points respectively. It was a true team effort for Saskatchewan as all 12 players saw at least five minutes of action on the night.

For the second night in a row Faith Hezekiah played amazingly well in a losing effort, finishing with a game-high 22 points. Farrah Castillo and Jessica Dyck rounded out the scoring for the Wesmen, putting up eight points apiece.

The game was put out reach almost immediately as the Huskies started the night on a 24-3 run thanks in part to two threes each from Ahlstrom and Dukate. Winnipeg was able to cut into the lead a little as Hezekiah had six points in the frame, but Sakatchewan  held a nearly insurmountable 29-12 lead after the first quarter.

Winnipeg did their best to gain momentum throughout the remainder of the night but in the end the high-powered Huskies proved to be too much, as their lead was never seriously in doubt en route to the 46-point victory.

Next up for the Huskies will be a Canada West semifinal series slated for Feb. 21-23 as they continue on the journey to their sixth-straight trip to both the Canada West championship game and the U SPORTS national championship tournament.

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