The University of Saskatchewan women’s basketball team had to overcome a 15-point deficit but the team is on its way to a USPORTS Final 8 semifinal game
The Huskies and Acadia Axewomen would match shots early, with it being a 7-7 tie midway through the first.
The Axewomen would eventually take control in the first quarter, going 4-7 from three-point range in the opening frame, which would lead to the Huskies being in a 20-11 deficit.
The Huskies would have a hard time stopping USPORTS Player of the Year Paloma Anderson, who had 14 points and three assists in the first half. Anderson would finish the game with 25 points.
Sabine Dukate would lead the way for the Huskies, scoring 15 points in the first half, and would help the U of S battle back, only trailing by three heading into halftime.
The Huskies would find new life in the second half and would battle back to tie it at 44 in the third quarter. Acadia wouldn’t relinquish the lead in the quarter, as a basket by Acadia’s Anderson with under 10 seconds left gave them a 51-49 lead going into the final quarter.
The Huskies would find a way to take the lead in the fourth, with Libby Epoch scoring a layup to put the U of S up 57-55.
The Huskies wouldn’t look back and defeated the Axewomen 72-67 and punched their way into an all-Sask semifinal game against the University of Regina Cougars.
“That had all the makings of a great game, we were down big early and made a comeback then it was tight for most of that second-half,” Huskies head coach Lisa Thomaidis said following the win. “I’m just so proud of this team to have come out and won like we did.”
Thomaidis said the team settled down on offence in the second-half and needed to get their bigs the ball.
Acadia’s Anderson would finish the game with 25 points and Thomaidis said all they could try to do is contain her and try to get her to shoot below her average.
Dukate said the team can get rolling quickly and that’s what helped them complete the comeback.
“We just knew it was do or die and we played our hearts out.”
Summer Masikewich turned out to be the difference-maker on offence for the Huskies, scoring 25 points with 18 of them coming in the second half.
She said getting the first win is important in this type of tournament.
“We can only go up from here.”
She attributed her success on the court to her teammates who were able to find her and get her the ball.
The Huskies will meet the Cougars on Saturday in a Canada-West final rematch. The Cougars won the Canada-West title 75-55.
One of the major differences between the game Saturday and the Canada-West Final is the team’s starting point guard Epoch will be back in the lineup after missing the game with an ankle injury.
“It feels like unfinished business and I know we’re a provincial rivalry so there’s always going to be that and now that it’s nationals there’s just that much more on the line,” Epoch said.
Thomaidis said the team goes through her and having her back is important in how they want to play the game.
Tip-off for the semifinal game is at 6 p.m.