EDMONTON – After suffering a shocking loss the previous night, the No. 1 ranked Saskatchewan Huskies bounced back with an 82-73 win over the Alberta Pandas, Saturday night at Saville Community Sports Centre.
Saskatchewan trailed by as many as 15, including trailing by seven in the third quarter, before storming back for the nine-point win. The Huskies outscored the Pandas 45-28 in the second half.
The win is the 18th for the Huskies, who finished their season with an 18-2 record, and the No. 2 seed in Canada West thanks to their 0.6190 RPI ranking. Saskatchewan, thanks to their second seed, will host a quarter-final at home in two weeks.
The loss for Alberta is their fourth, dropping them to 16-4. However, the Pandas finished fourth in the conference’s RPI ranking, and will earn a bye through to the quarter-finals, where they will travel to either Calgary or Saskatoon.
Libby Epoch led the Huskies with a team-high 20 points, with Summer Masikewich adding 17 points and 19 rebounds.
Fifth-year Panda Vanessa Wild capped off her tremendous season with a game-high 28 points, shooting 10/18 from the field. Morgan Mudge and MacKenzie Cook each added 11 for Alberta.
The Pandas, coming off a shocking 78-71 win the previous night, caught fire in the first quarter, scoring 20 points, leading by 15 after the first 10 minutes.
The Huskies started to heat up from beyond the arc in the second quarter, trimming into the Alberta lead thanks to a 22-15 run.
Saskatchewan, who entered the weekend with just one loss on their resume, showed why they were the No. 1 team in Canada coming into Edmonton. Epoch and Masikewich started to find their rhythm in the second half, thanks in large part to Masikewich’s eight offensive rebounds.
Saskatchewan outscored Alberta by eight in the third, grabbing a one-point lead, before firmly grabbing control of the game in the fourth, holding the Pandas to just 12 points.
Both teams will now wait for their quarter-final opponents, and will be back in action on during the February 21st – 23rd weekend.