Thursday, 30 December 2010

Huskies edge T-Wolves in classic Wesmen semi-final

In a game that was played at Nationals-like intensity with several highlight reel plays, the Huskies held off Lakehead as 6'1" fifth-year guard Rejean Chabot had 11 of his game-high 33 points during a third-quarter Saskatchewan run that gave the Huskies the lead and 6'0" Jamelle Barrett had 8 fourth-quarter points (20 in the game) to help finish off the T-Wolves. 

Lakehead had established a 44-41 halftime lead with a sizzling 11 for 21 display from beyond the arc led by 6'7" Ryan Thomson and 6'1" Jamie Searle who both went 3 for 3 in the first half.  Unfortunately for Lakehead they shot only 3-16 in the second half but still had a chance to win.

Lakehead recovered from a late third quarter Sask run that saw Huskies take leads as large as 12 points to bring the game down to its final possession with an 80-79 score and Lakehead ball with just over 24 seconds to go. Lakehead had possibly its two best looks of the game from outside as both Joe Jones and Searle rimmed out on potential game-winning shots with 15 and 9 seconds remaining in the game.  Saskatchewan then iced the game on the free throw line.

Sask's athletic 6'8" Michael Lieffers was tough around the rim all night, going a perfect 4 for 4 from the field including a powerful slam on the break after Barrett stole the ball and pushed in transition; Lieffers added 7 rebounds.  6'3" Venzal Russell had 17 points for Lakehead while Searle added 19 on 5-8 from 3 and Thomson, who fouled out, finished with 15 points in only 19 minutes.  5'10" Greg Carter also was saddled with fouls, playing only 22 minutes as Lakehead Coach Scott Morrison employed healthy doses of a 2/3 zone, in part to protect two of his foul-plagued guys but also to try to contain the slashing, dynamic duo of Chabot and Barrett.

Saskatchewan takes on host Winnipeg this evening in the championship final.


In the other semi-final, Winnipeg outlasted Manitoba 80-76 as the Wesmen had 5 players in double figures.  Earlier in consolation play, Jamestown defeated McMaster 75-67 as the Marauders continued their cold-shooting ways, going only 25% (6-24) from beyond the arc one day after shooting only 3-27 from downtown in their first round loss to Winnipeg.

At the Classique des Citadins, the host UQAM Citadins pulled away in the second half for an 84-64 victory over Memorial Sea-hawks.  The tournament concludes today in Montreal.

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