Zachary Worden, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY, Alta – The Mount Royal University Cougars final homestand of the season tipped-off Friday night at Kenyon Court. The University of Saskatchewan Huskies made their way to Calgary for the weekend series against the Cougars. Mount Royal came into the weekend after a home and away series with the Lethbridge Pronghorns, while the Huskies were off last weekend with a bye.
The Huskies were able to extend their win streak to nine with a 90-44 victory. All 12 Huskies scored in the game and they were led by Sabine Dukate who exploded in the first half on her way to a game-high 24 points. She also made an impact with her passing and rebounding totaling six assists and five rebounds. Summer Masikewich and Kyla Shand both totaled double-digits points by controlling the paint. Masikewich finished the game with 17 and Shand put in 10 for the visitors.
The Cougars offense was led by first-year players Sarah Rinsky and Alesha Stanley. The pair combined for 15 points and both had stretches where their offense sparked runs for the team. Sydney Tabin and Charity Marlatt countered the strong inside game of the Huskies with solid performances of their own. Both totaled six points and four rebounds, giving the Cougars a nice presence on the inside.
Saskatchewan came out in the first on fire. Their offense shot 58% right out of the gate and set the tone early. Their efficiency came from all levels as they shot the three ball well. Dukate hit two threes through the first 10 minutes, contributing to her 10 points in the opening quarter.
The Cougars found success on the offensive glass in the first quarter. They managed to get position inside and come away with the ball. They were able to come away with second-chance points after extending their possessions.
The second quarter started out with both defenses keeping the other teams' offense off the board. Only a combined five points being scored in the first four minutes of the quarter.
Despite the slow start, the offense started flowing later in the quarter. 08 knocked down two threes for MRU and the Huskies' offense found scoring from up and down their roster.
Heading into halftime Saskatchewan held a 42-18 lead. Dukate led the way with a huge first half. She scored 19 points and hit five of her seven three-point attempts in the first 20 minutes. Nine other Huskies scored in the first half, helping them build their early lead.
The Cougars' leading scorer at half was Stanley after her two made threes in the second quarter. The Mount Royal defense also picked up in the second quarter, holding the visiting Huskies to 25% shooting on 16 field goal attempts.
The Huskies started the third quarter on a big run. Masikewich carried the bulk of the load on the run. She put in 11 total points in the quarter as the Saskatchewan offense kept going to her on the inside.
MRU ended the quarter on a 9-5 run sparked by the play of Rinsky who scored seven of the nine points. She knocked down a couple jumpers after finding some space on the offensive end.
The fourth quarter started with offensive success for both sides. The action went back and forth as both teams wanted to win the final quarter and take some momentum into the second game of the series. Jordan Blaskin and Tabin combined to score the first nine points in the quarter for Mount Royal, setting the tone for the final 10 minutes.
Once the final buzzer sounded the Huskies had come away with their 13th victory of the season.
MRU's final home game of the season will be played Saturday night at Kenyon Court, as the Cougars will look to get back in the win column before their bye. The game tips-off at 4:00 p.m. MDT and can be streamed live on www.canadawest.tv.