SASKATOON – Sarah Buckingham splashed a three-point basket with 14 seconds left to lift the No. 9 Trinity Western Spartans over the No. 7 Saskatchewan Huskies 67-60 in Game 2 of a Canada West semifinal Saturday night on Ron & Jane Graham Court at the PAC.
Buckingham was one of five Spartans who finished with double-digit points, as they avoided elimination forcing a deciding Game 3 in the best-of-three series.
Down five at the halftime break, the Spartans rallied to score 23 points in the third – their most of any quarter – while limiting Saskatchewan to just nine points, their lowest scoring quarter of the game. It was a 19-5 run in the quarter that flipped a five-point Huskie lead into an eight-point Spartan lead.
In the fourth, Saskatchewan put together a timely 11-0 run to tie the game with 3:07 remaining. First Team All-Star Sabine Dukate started the run by hitting two free throws, and minutes later she tied the game at 58 with a three-point basket. Kayla Gordon and Summer Masikewich traded baskets, before Buckingham buried the dagger to go up three with 14 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, the Huskies ran a scoring play for leading scorer Dukate, but her three-point attempt rimmed out. Trinity Western secured the rebound and finished the game on the free-throw line for the seven point win.
Kianna Wiens finished with game-high 18 points off the bench for Trinity Western. Wiens went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc in the first half to keep her team within striking distance. Gordon double-doubled with 17 points and 13 rebounds. She added three steals and a block.
For Saskatchewan, Dukate had a team-high 14 points, while Brianna Fehr came off the bench for 10 points – eight in the first half.
The Spartans shot 24-of-67, while the Huskies finished 23-of-64. Saskatchewan out rebounded Trinity Western 39-33.
Trinity Western head coach Cheryl Jean-Paul
"Tonight's theme was to push back and I thought we did a great job of that when it counted. We knew we had to be better on the offensive glass, we had to maintain our tempo and create for each other. When we stuck to that game plan we had success. The third quarter was a great response to yesterday's loss and we are looking forward to the battle tomorrow. This is unchartered waters for us and the team really responded to the sense of urgency to play in a way where we could control our own destiny. It was nice to see the different ways that showed up tonight."
- The Spartans and Huskies are 2-2 against each other this season, with all games having been played in Saskatoon.
- Tonight's win is the first CW semi-final win in the history of the Spartans women's basketball program.
Game 3 of best of three series is set for 7 p.m. CST Saturday night. The game can be seen live on Canadawest.TV.