Shoot for the Cure comes to Saskatoon as No. 1 Huskies welcome Vikes

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The University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s basketball team will put their undefeated record on the line this weekend in their first home games of the 2020 calendar year when they welcome the visiting Victoria Vikes to town.

Saskatchewan took care of business this past weekend in Langley, recording a sweep over the Trinity Western Spartans with 83-39 and 101-47 victories. Summer Masikewich recorded 29 points and eight rebounds on Friday night, following that up an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double to seal the sweep.

Saskatchewan is one of two remaining undefeated teams in the nation and has not lost a regular-season contest on home court in nearly two years, with their last loss coming back on Feb. 2, 2018.

The Huskies remain the number one ranked team in the nation but will face what will be their stiffest test of the season to date. The Vikes enter the weekend with a 7-3 record and sit fifth in the Canada West.

Meanwhile, Victoria comes to town after a weekend split at home to begin the calendar year. The Vikes recorded a 68-43 win over the UBC Okanagan Heat on Friday night, before falling in a tight 83-77 contest on Saturday.

The Huskies last met against the Vikes in Victoria back on Nov. 17 and 18 of 2017, when the visitors swept the hosts with 89-79 and 96-63 victories. Meanwhile, the trip to the Bridge City will be the first in over five years for Victoria, with their last meeting against Saskatchewan taking place on Nov. 21 and 22 of the 2014-15 season. The Huskies have won their last seven regular-season contests against the Vikes, with their most recent loss to the west coast program coming back on Jan. 6, 2012.

5 Things

1: The Huskies will play host to their annual Shoot for the Cure event on Friday night. The initiative, which has raised over 1.3 million dollars since its inception in 2007, has developed into a nationwide campaign to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.

2: Saskatchewan, who has outscored their opponents this season by 440 points, lead the Canada West in scoring, while simultaneously allowing the least points in the conference this season.

3: This is the Huskies most dominant start in program history. Saskatchewan’s only other 10-0 start came back in 2015-16 when they went on to win the national championship. The Huskies have 859 points for and 419 points against, in comparison to 777 points for and 556 points against in 2015-16.

4: After entering the top 35 in career points in the Canada West history books last weekend, Huskies guard Sabine Dukate is on the verge of rising up the ranks in yet another record. The fifth-year guard, who is first in the conference with 28 three-pointers made this season, will take the court on Friday night only ten three-pointers behind former Regina Cougar Katie Polischuk for fourth in conference history in career triples.

5: Katriana Philipenko and Dukate sit third and fourth respectively in the conference in three-point percentage, with nearly matching 43.9 and 43.8 per cent clips.

Scouting the Vikes

Led by head coach Dani Sinclair, the Vikes have been a consistent force in the Canada West since Sinclair took over as the team’s bench boss before the 2012-13 season.

The Vikes have qualified for the playoffs in every season of Sinclair’s tenure, including a sixth-place regular-season finish in 2018-19 before the team was bounced in quarter-final action by the Regina Cougars.

Victoria is attempting to reach the final four of the Canada West for the first time since the 2014-15 season, where they went on to fall to Saskatchewan in semifinal action.

Vikes guard Ashlyn Day leads the way for her team offensively this season, sitting in fourth in the Canada West with 18.4 points-per-game this season. It has been a breakout season for the 5-10 Kelowna, B.C. native, who averaged 12.7 points-per-game last season.