For a packed audience, the Huskies women’s basketball team kept everyone on the edge of their seat by staying ahead with a narrow margin almost the entire game.
As the minutes dwindled down, it looked uncertain at times. Yet the Huskies captured the Canada West title, their fourth in the past five years, against the University of Alberta Pandas, winning 62-51.
The Huskies had expected to go on the road to face the number-one ranked team in the CW league, the Calgary Dinos, in the championship game. However, an upset against the Pandas in the semi-finals led to them falling out of the playoffs.
With the Huskies ranked second, they played the Pandas on their home turf in the Physical Activity Complex, which was a welcomed surprise. But with the change in playoff format, scrapping the best of three in the quarter and semifinals, the Huskies had it all riding on one high- pressure game.
In the first period, the teams tied twice, and the Pandas barely squeaked a lead over the Huskies six minutes in. However, the Huskies worked hard on defense in the second, allowing the Pandas to only make five points.
“They had a tough night shooting in the first half,” said Lisa Thomaidis, head coach of the Huskies women’s basketball team. “We knew they were going to make a run in the second, but we hung in strong.”
In their playoff games this year, the Huskies have struggled with maintaining their lead, often dropping it in the third to rally hard in the end.
It was no different in the championship game. After a tough third that had the Pandas edging closer, the Huskies were quick on their turnovers. It was fourth-year Summer Masikewich who had the audience on their feet. With just over two minutes left on the clock, her three-pointer shot in the fourth launched the Huskies forward.
The key players were Masikewich and fifth-year Sabine Dukate, who both earned 17 points. Dukate attempted six three-pointers and landed two, and from second-year Carly Ahlstrom came 10 rebounds.
The women’s team is in Ottawa for the U SPORTS Championship over the weekend, which is the second time in program history that the team is heading into the final eight ranked number one in the nation.
Nykole King/ Editor-in-Chief
Photo: Yasmine El-Gayed