Saskatchewan Huskies beat Ryerson Rams to win first women’s basketball title

FREDERICTON — The Canadian Press

Laura Dally had 25 points and six rebounds as the Saskatchewan Huskies beat the Ryerson Rams 85-71 to win their first Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s basketball title.

Sabine Dukate had 22 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals for the Huskies, while Kelsey Trulsrud and Dalyce Emmerson added 14 points each.

Emmerson was chosen the tournament’s most valuable player.

“We were composed,” she said. “Those emotions have been a factor when I have played in previous national finals, but this time, the senior girls led the way.”

Dukate (4-for-7) and Dally (4-for-9) were both dangerous from three-point range.

“Winning this makes you realize how special it is in this league, and how many things have to fall into place in order to win,” said Huskies coach Lisa Thomaidis, who has also coached Canada’s senior women’s team. “This is different than international, where you are together for a summer or a season. This is big because we have a lot of time invested in the players, and the players have a lot invested in the program. In some cases, we have been together every day for the past five years.”

Keneca Pingue-Giles, the CIS women’s basketball player of the year, had 26 points and six rebounds for the Rams but went 1-for-9 on her three-point attempts.

“I shot a lot, but they weren’t falling for me, unlike other games in this tournament,” she said. “They played us tough and things fell in for them.”

In the bronze-medal match, Rachelle Coward scored 18 points as the Saint Mary’s Huskies beat the McGill Martlets 56-43.

“We have been to four nationals, and come away with three medals, so that says a lot about the players,” Saint Mary’s coach Scott Munro said. “They are an experienced group, and they knew what to do today.”

The result capped a disappointing tournament for McGill, which entered as the top seed.

“It’s not disappointing to play for bronze, it is disappointing to lose in the bronze game,” McGill coach Ryan Thorne said. “Our university sent us here, and today is not how we should have played. I feel badly for the team, and our five graduating players. We should have done better.”

Pingue-Giles, Dally and Emmerson were chosen tournament all-stars, along with Regina’s Charlotte Kot and Ryerson’s Silvana Jez.

In the CIS men’s basketball final in Vancouver, No. 4 Calgary took on the powerhouse Carleton Ravens on Sunday night. The Dinos advanced by beating the top-ranked Ryerson Rams 98-87 on Saturday while the No. 2 Ravens, who have won five straight titles, advanced with a 76-66 win over the No. 6 Dalhousie Tigers.