Matt Johnson, Huskie Athletics
SASKATOON - A late flurry of three-pointers powered the University of Saskatchewan men's basketball team past the Fraser Valley Cascades by a score of 77-71, on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the PAC.
Lawrence Moore had a game-high 21 points for Saskatchewan, and the fifth-year guard added five rebounds and four steals in the victory. J.T. Robinson chipped in 18 points and five steals.
Mark Johnson led Fraser Valley in scoring with 19 points, as the fifth-year guard poured in 4-9 three-point attempts and added eight rebounds, four assists, and five steals. Vick Toor was efficient shooting the basketball as he converted 6-8 of his field goal attempts off the bench for the Cascades, totaling 16 points and four assists.
The Huskies have now rattled off three consecutive victories after sweeping the Cascades, which moves them to 3-1 on the season. While after the loss, Fraser Valley falls to 2-2 after starting the season with two home wins.
After getting out to a 16-0 start the night before, Saskatchewan started the contest in similar fashion as the team was ready out of the gates. Emmanuel Akintunde opened the scoring with a layup on the fast break, which was followed by a J.T. Robinson three-pointer.
Moore got the crowd on its feet with a one-handed breakaway jam, and Chan De Ciman added his first points of the night with a long-range three-pointer. A Robinson jumper forced Fraser Valley into an early timeout, which capped a Saskatchewan 13-0 run to begin the ball game.
The Cascades responded with an 11-4 run of their own, to reel them back into the game on the back of two three-pointers from Johnson, which cut the Huskies lead to seven.
Despite Saskatchewan's hot start, their wide lead evaporated thanks to some persistent rebounding from the Cascades, and the Huskies entered the second quarter leading 24-17.
Robinson's six points led the way for the Huskies in the first ten minutes. As a team, they shot the ball efficiently from downtown as they knocked down 4-7 looks from long-range in the opening ten minutes.
Johnson carried the Cascades offensively as he racked up 12 of his team's 17 points in the opening quarter, while also recording four rebounds and two steals.
Fraser Valley continued to work their way back into the contest as their strong finish to the first quarter carried over into the next frame. Sukhman Sandhu's slam-dunk kickstarted a 15-0 run for the Cascades as Sukhjot Bains, Sandhu and Johnson each knocked down three-pointers to put Fraser Valley ahead 32-26.
From then on out the teams continued to exchange baskets, but the Cascades entered halftime with a seven-point lead, as they outscored the Huskies 27-13 in the quarter to take a 44-37 lead into the half.
Johnson's 15 points on 5-8 shooting through the first half continued to pace the Cascades. While the fifth-year forward also added five rebounds and three steals.
The Huskies shooting began to heat up in the third quarter, as Robinson connected from long range which started a swing of momentum. After a pair of free throws, followed by a layup from Akintunde, Moore's three-ball gave the home team a one-point lead. Maxwell Amoafo's and-one concluded a Huskies 13-0 run, which extended the Huskies advantage to four.
Despite outscoring Fraser Valley 20-16 in the third, the Huskies entered the final quarter trailing by three points.
The Cascades struggled to continue their hot-shooting from long range as they went just 2-16 from three in the quarter.
After trading buckets throughout the fourth, Robinson and De Ciman knocked down triples on back-to-back possessions to give the Huskies a three-point lead with four minutes remaining in the game.
Moore continued to build on the Huskies lead as he was feeling it from distance. He connected on a corner triple to extend the lead to six. The next time up the floor Joseph Barker cleaned up the trash as his offensive rebound and ensuing layup made the score 72-64 for Saskatchewan.
Saskatoon native Alexander Dewar delivered the dagger as his layup put the Huskies up eight with a minute to go.
The Huskies late triples in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference, as Saskatchewan escaped with a 77-71 victory.
The Huskies will face a tough test in Calgary next weekend, as they tangle with the defending U SPORTS champion Dinos on Nov. 9 and 10 at Jack Simpson Gym. Meanwhile, Fraser Valley will host the Alberta Golden Bears next weekend and all of that action can be watch on Canadawest.tv