Matt Johnson, Huskie Athletics
SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan men's basketball team got out to an early lead and never looked back as they defeated the Fraser Valley Cascades 92-65, on Friday, Nov. 2 at the PAC.
"We shot the ball really well in the first quarter and that sprung us out to a lead. It was kind of a strange swing of a game, because in the second quarter we struggled to make open looks," said Huskies head coach Barry Rawlyk. "But all in all, our transition game was strong, we ran up and down the floor really well and that made the difference I thought."
Emmanuel Akintunde led the Huskies in scoring with 24 points while adding 11 rebounds to complete the double-double.
"Emmanuel was stellar all night. He rebounded the ball, he defended and obviously he scored the ball. He did all the things we need role players to do," Rawlyk said.
J.T Robinson chipped in 22 points, four rebounds and four assists in the win.
Parm Bains led the way for the Cascades, as he had 17 points on 4-9 shooting from downtown. Sukhjot Bains added 15 points and four rebounds.
The Huskies started the game on fire and got out to a 16-0 lead, as Robinson, Akintunde each drilled from three-point range, while Chan De Ciman converted twice from beyond the arc.
After scoring 33 points in his previous outing, De Ciman wasted no time to continue his hot shooting as he knocked down three of four three-point attempts in the first quarter.
The Huskies were able to continue to build on their early lead, as they outscored the Cascades 27-8 in the opening quarter. Saskatchewan was lights out as a team from beyond the arc in the quarter as they knocked down 6-13 shots attempts from downtown.
Vick Toor led Fraser Valley in scoring in the first, as he racked up five points. The Cascades struggled to fill the basket in the opening frame, shooting just 17.6% from the field, including going 1-9 from three-point range.
Saskatchewan got out on the fast-break to begin the second quarter, as Akintunde threw down a thunderous one-handed slam to electrify the home crowd. The Huskies kept getting out in transition with numbers, as moments after the Akintunde dunk, Maxwell Amoafo added a dunk of his own, which was followed up by a Lawrence Moore and-one.
Fraser Valley battled back with a strong second quarter, as they outscored Saskatchewan 17-15 in the frame. However, they entered halftime with a 42-25 deficit. Through one half of action, De Ciman carried the way for the Huskies offensively with 11 points on 4-9 shooting, while chipping in four rebounds.
Sukhjot Bains, a transfer from Green Bay-Wisconsin, led the Cascades in scoring in the second quarter, as the guard racked up seven points. Mark Johnson tallied eight rebounds through the opening half for the visitors.
Fraser Valley went on a mini-run of their own to start the third quarter to cut the down the lead even further. Bains got things with a three-pointer, and Toor followed that up with a jumper of his own.
However, Akintunde got the Saskatoon crowd and his own bench out of their seats and onto their feet, as he rose to the rim and posterized a Cascades defender in transition, to put the Huskies up by 21 points.
The Huskies outscored the Cascades 27-18 in the third, as they got back to their game after a tough shooting second quarter.
Fraser Valley responded with a rim-rocker of their own in the fourth quarter.
After Parm Bains missed three-pointer, Daniel Adediran cleaned up the garbage with a huge put-back slam.
However, the Huskies kept building upon their lead, as they went on a 7-0 run on the backs of Noah Nickel and Cole Anderson, who knocked down his first bucket at the PAC as a member of the Huskies.
From there one out the Huskies were able to ride out the remainder of the game to record the 92-65 victory.
Saskatchewan shot 40% from the field and their efficiency shooting the basketball proved to be the difference in the contest, as Fraser Valley was unable to sink their open looks and shot 31.8% on the night.
The Huskies and Cascades will take the court for the second time in as many nights on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the PAC.