In their closest contest so far in Canada West play the No. 1 ranked Saskatchewan Huskies were able to hold off a hard-charging UVic Vikes squad to take a 73-68 victory inside the PAC on Friday night.
The win moves the Huskies to 11-0 in conference play as they remain in first place in Canada West while UVic moves to 9-4 with the loss.
Summer Masikewich scored a game-high 30 points and pulled down 15 boards for the Huskies, as the fourth-year forward from Calgary continues her red-hot start to the second half of the season putting up 78 points through three games. Sabine Dukate added 16 points while Libby Epoch ended the night with seven points, four assists and four steals.
Ashlyn Day had a strong outing for the visitors, recording 20 points while going 7-13 from the floor. Kristy Gallagher and Marissa Dheensaw scored 11 points apiece with Dheensaw adding 11 boards.
The Vikes came out swinging in the contest, limiting Saskatchewan to shooting just 27.8 per cent in the opening frame. A pair of free-throws late in the quarter gave UVic a 19-16 lead after ten minutes of play.
Saskatchewan was able to bounce back in the second quarter however, starting the frame on a 14-4 run to take a 33-26 lead. The Vikes were able to cut the deficit late but the Huskies took a six-point advantage into the break thanks in large part to eight points from Dukate and six from Masikewich.
The third quarter belonged to the Huskies. Masikewich put up 12 points and some stifling defence forced eight Victoria turnovers to give Saskatchewan a 60-48 lead with just ten minutes left to play.
Victoria refused to go away however and with two minutes remaining five-straight points from Dheensaw cut the lead down to just three points.
The Huskies were able to see out the game however as Epoch came up clutch shooting free-throws and also grabbed an important steal to see a final score of 73-68.
These two teams will be back in action tomorrow afternoon with a scheduled tip of 5 p.m.