EDMONTON – While the No.7 University of Alberta Pandas struggled with turnovers and shooting from long distance, the No.6 University of Saskatchewan made the most of their opportunities to sweep the weekend series and earn their eighth-straight win with a 60-48 decision, Saturday night at Saville Community Sports Centre.
Alberta had a total of 25 turnovers in the game and didn't sink a single trey in 10 attempts from beyond the arc in the second half, sophomore guard Lauren Earl and third-year guard Megan Tywoniuk leading the team with 10 points apiece.
Calgary native Summer Masikewich netted a game-high 13 points for the Huskies, senior guard Megan Lindquist adding 10 while a total of seven players had at least five points in a solid scoring-by-committee effort.
The Pandas came out strong to attempt splitting the weekend series, opening with an 8-2 run, but the Huskies pushed back, taking advantage of the charity stripe to tie the game up at 10 on the strength of three Sabine Dukate free throws.
Saskatchewan only had three baskets out of 14 from the field in the opening quarter, but put up seven at the line to only be down by one after 10 minutes, even though Alberta was shooting at more than double at a 55% clip.
Unfortunately for the home team, the second quarter was the exact opposite, the Huskies converting 47% of their shots from the field while the Pandas dropped to 23%. The visitors also outrebounded their hosts 13-6, including eight alone on defence to help build their lead, doubling up on Alberta 20-10 in the quarter to earn a nine-point lead at halftime.
The possession game became important in the third quarter as the Pandas tried to erase their lead, but Saskatchewan had other plans, earning 16 shots compared to Alberta's 10, despite succeeding on just as many baskets as the Pandas with four.
Outrebounding their opponents for the second-straight quarter, now 12-7, the Huskies took command of the game, extending their lead to over 10 as the teams entered the fourth quarter.
The visitors slowed the game down in the fourth frame, leading to only 13 points scored in the first half of it, but Saskatchewan still maintaining the upper hand with eight points to Alberta's five.
As the game wound down, the Pandas were able to make good use of the charity stripe to decrease their deficit, but Saskatchewan's Kyla Shand ended the game with a jumper to conclude the series sweep.
The 5-3 Pandas will stay at home to host the Victoria Vikes in the final weekend of the 2017 half of the regular season while the 8-0 Huskies return home to host the Calgary Dinos.