Zachary Worden, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY, Alta – The Mount Royal University Cougars hosted the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Saturday afternoon for their final home game of the 2018-2019 basketball season. Kenyon Court played host to the weekend series, where the Huskies picked up the victory in game one by a score of 90-44.
The Huskies followed up their win on Friday with a 108-65 victory on Saturday. Each of their starters scored in double-digits, combined with two 10-point scorers off the bench. Sabine Dukate was the leading scorer with 14 points. She added seven assists and five steals, turning in a huge two-way performance. Summer Masikewich put in a double-double performance, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The team's offense was on all game long, shooting 58% from the field and 82% from the free-throw line. They lived at the line, attempting 27 shots throughout the night.
Mount Royal's leading scorer was Maddison Hooper who put in a game-high 15 points. Her jump shot helped her get her points, as she fired from all over the court, keeping the pressure on the Huskies' defense whenever she was on the floor. Marnie Garner was big on both sides of the ball for the Cougars. She scored 14 points, grabbed four rebounds (all of them offensive) and came away with two steals. She made six of her nine shot attempts in the game, scoring efficiently and providing a reliable offensive option for the home team. The Cougars also got perfect outside shooting from Alesha Stanley who hit all three of her three-point attempts on the way to nine points.
The first quarter started out with the teams exchanging runs. Saskatchewan took the lead right from the opening jump, but the Cougars responded after falling behind early. After the tight back and forth battle to start the game, the Huskies were able to get some momentum and breathing room on their lead. After a strong showing Friday night, Dukate picked up right where she left off, with seven points and two assists through the opening 10 minutes.
Both teams found offensive from different places in the second quarter. Mount Royal's outside shooting gave them an offensive boost. Hooper hit two threes on her way to eight second-quarter points. The Huskies went the opposite way and got their points on the inside and from the free-throw line. They shot 53% in the quarter and got to the line for 10 shots, converting eight of their opportunities from the charity stripe.
Once the first 20 minutes expired, Saskatchewan held a 53-24 lead, led by Dukate, Kyla Shand and Kelsey Lalor. The trio scored a combined 23 points in the first half and only missed five of the 14 shots they put up. The Huskies took advantage of their trips to the free throw line in the first half, as they made 13 of their 15 attempts.
The Cougars offense looked to Hooper in the first half, as she led the team with 10 points and looked to shoot when she got any space on the perimeter. Garner also played a big role on both ends for Mount Royal. She came up big on the offensive glass fighting for a couple of offensive rebounds, while also contributing on defense with two first-half steals.
Looking to start-up a comeback, the Cougars came out of the halftime break and went a 7-4 run led by two baskets from Garner. Mount Royal kept their foot on the gas on both ends. Defensively they forced the high-powered Huskies' offense into tough contested shots.
After a tight third quarter, both teams came into the fourth and put a ton of points on the board. The Huskies shot 78% from the field and the Cougars shot 58%. The two teams only missed a combined 12 shots out of 37 taken in the quarter. Once the final buzzer sounded and a combined 60 fourth-quarter points were scored, Saskatchewan had secured their 14th win of the season.
The Cougars are off next weekend with a bye but will be back in action for the final weekend of play. They travel to Brandon for games February 1st and 2nd against the Bobcats. The Huskies will head back home to host the University of Alberta Pandas who also have 14 wins. All games can be streamed live on www.canadawest.tv.