MBB: Huskies hand T-Birds home opener split

MBB: Huskies hand T-Birds home opener split

Aneesa Heatherington, UBC Thunderbirds

VANCOUVER – The University of Saskatchewan Huskies (1-1) shot 47.1% from three-point range to bounce back from a season-opening loss to defeat the UBC Thunderbirds (1-1) 102-93 at War Memorial Gym.

UBC's Jadon Cohee and Saskatchewan's Chan De Ciman each had a game-high 33 points on the night, while Lawrence Moore finished with 23 points and eight assists for the Huskies. T-Bird rookie

Cam Morris had a breakout 14 points off the bench and added five rebounds as Mason Bourcier turned it on in crunch time to finish with 13 points.

The two teams were evenly matched on the boards, but the 'Birds took control in transition, out-scoring the Huskies 13 to 2 on fast-break points, and earned six blocks.

UBC fell behind 13-5 early, but found their rhythm and drew to within two points down 15-13 on a Cohee three. The Huskies turned it on following a timeout to close out the quarter with a 29-20 advantage and opened the second quarter with three straight three-pointers to extend their lead to 38-20.

Morris got hot for the 'Birds with 11 first half points, including back-to-back threes. Late in the half, a huge Morris block on De Ciman sprung Cohee on the break, who pulled up from beyond the arc to make it 52-43. De Ciman continued to jack up threes and entered halftime with 21 points, going 5-for-9 from three point land.

De Ciman attacked the rim to start the third and scored six straight free throws for a 74-56 lead as his Huskies continued to drain their jumpers and penetrate the UBC zone to finish the third quarter up 85-70.

After being down 19 points in the final frame, the T-Birds fought back to get within four points on a pair of Bourcier threes to make it 95-91 with 1:03 remaining on the clock. Bourcier drove to the hoop for two with 0:43 left for a 98-93 deficit, but Saskatchewan made their free throws down the stretch and were able to close out the road win.

The Thunderbirds are back in action for a home-and-home Legends Cup series with the University of Victoria Vikes next week. UBC visits Vancouver Island Thursday night before hosting the Vikes at War Memorial on Saturday.

PHOTO: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds