A spot in the Canada West semi-final is on the line when the Huskies meet the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Feb. 28 – March 2 in Vancouver, B.C. The two teams met once previously this season on Jan. 11, when the Dogs snuck out a 55-53 win.
The best-of-three series promises a competitive matchup between two top teams in the Canada West division, with the victor advancing to the final four.
It should be a battle right from tip-off as the teams are evenly matched. The Huskies ended the regular season third in the Prairie Division with a 17-5 record while the Thunderbirds finished second in the Pacific Division after going 16-6.
Hosting the Huskies at home will give the Thunderbirds a slight advantage as they are 9-2 on their own court — but the Huskies have a winning 7-5 record away. However, a vocal home crowd could give the Thunderbirds an edge. There’s no doubt that everyone in the gym will be pulling for the home team to advance to the semi-final.
The Huskies offence could trouble the Thunderbirds if the team is able to get an early lead. The Dogs are the fifth highest scoring team in the country, averaging 71.5 points per game while the Thunderbirds sit in tenth with 66.7.
In terms of shooting, the two teams are fairly even. Over the season the Huskies have netted 43.2 per cent of their field goal attempts while the Thunderbirds have been successful 41.6 per cent of the time. Another area where the Dogs will have a slight advantage is in the paint, with rebounds favouring the Huskies 41.5 per game to 37.2 for the Thunderbirds.
The Huskies’ lineup boasts the fourth highest scorer in the country in Dallas Emmerson, who averages 19 points a game. Emmerson is also incredibly tough off the boards, averaging just shy of 12 rebounds a game — the second highest in the country. The Huskies will also look to Kiera Lyons and Kabree Howard when the teams clash.
The top scorer for the Thunderbirds is Kris Young who cashes in 17 points a game. Harleen Sidhu is just behind Young, averaging 16 points per game. Sidhu and Young are also the top rebounders on the team, averaging nine and seven respectively.
Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on Friday, 5 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday if necessary.