By: Daniel Herrick, Huskie Athletics
SASKATOON, SASK. – The University of Saskatchewan Huskies held off a late comeback by the University of Alberta Golden Bears earning a 68-65 win Saturday night on Ron and Jane Graham Court at the PAC.
The Huskies held a 21-point lead with four minutes to go in the third quarter when the Golden Bears made their push. Alberta went on a 20-1 run that stretched into the fourth quarter and eventually took the lead at 59-57.
The two teams traded hoops back-and-forth down the stretch in front of a raucous crowd at the PAC where the Huskies celebrated fifth-year night prior to the contest.
With the teams locked at 65 with less than a minute on the clock fifth-year Matt Forbes stepped to the line and knocked down a free throw to put the Huskies ahead by one. On the second, Forbes' missed free throw was fittingly grabbed by the only other Huskie fifth-year Trevor Severinski. The Huskies would inbound and hit on two more free throws to lock up the win.
The No. 9 ranked Huskies, now 12-6, entered the day fourth in the RPI rankings but will likely move up after beating the second place Golden Bears. Alberta drops to 13-5 with the loss.
The final weekend will be critical for all of the top teams in the conference who are vying for a first round bye and hosting duties down the stretch run of the playoffs.
Saskatchewan started the night slow, but rebounded to lead 21-17 after the first quarter. Solid effort at both ends of the court led to a 22-11 showing in the second quarter for Saskatchewan allowing them to take a comfortable 15 point lead into the locker room.
Shane Osayande led the Huskies in the game with 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting. Osayande recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 11 rebounds. Seniors Matt Forbes, with 14 points and seven rebounds, and Trevor Severinski, with 12 points and five rebounds, each turned in solid performances in their last regular season home games for the Huskies.
Brody Clarke led the way for Alberta with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Clarke added a team-high six rebounds. Mamadou Gueye and Austin Waddoups each added 17 points for the Golden Bears in the loss.