TORONTO (CIS) – Evan Ostertag scored a team-high 32 points as his scoring and some key offensive rebounding helped the eighth-seeded Saskatchewan Huskies rally from as many as 12 down to lead the Canada West finalists to a 90-79 victory over the No. 5 Dalhousie Tigers in their ArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS Men's Basketball 8 consolation semifinal Friday afternoon.
Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mbkb/index
Dadrian Collins added 21 of his own in the win; all part of a spirited fourth quarter that saw the Huskies outscore the Tigers 25-8 to rebound from a 40-point defeat at the hands of the four-time defending CIS champion Carleton Ravens in Thursday's opening quarterfinal.
Considering the sting of that loss and their struggles for most of the game, Ostertag praised the team's fight at the end to pull out the result.
"We really didn't want to go out like that on a blowout loss to Carleton last night and lose again this night," Ostertag said. "We got a big group of senior guys and we just dug in and said we need to win this game, we're not going out on two losses."
Following an early defensive struggle, the majority of first quarter was a back and forth shootout between Ostertag and Dalhousie third-year forward, Sven Stammberger. Stammberger made a pair of threes, including one with 6:05 left after stealing the ball seconds prior to Ostertag, who opened Saskatchewan's scoring on the day responded with a three of his own. The two again traded jumpers before Maurice Colley got into the act with a pair of late threes and a lay in to give Dalhousie a 22-20 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Tigers then expanded their lead thanks to two more Stammberger jumpers early in the second quarter, part of a 19-point first half for the Nova Scotia native to help Dalhousie lead by as many as 10 with 2:39 left in the half before Ostertag's layup cut the deficit to 44-37 going into the half.
The third quarter saw more of the same from Stammberger, who upped his tally to 29 points, making all four of his three-point attempts by that point before Ostertag again fueled the Huskies rally with a three-pointer, then feeding Collins for a three of his own as they cut the Tigers lead to six after three quarters.
In the fourth, the Huskies outmuscled their opponents, grabbing eight offensive rebounds and holding Dalhousie to 3-of-14 shooting in the final frame. After Canada West second team all-star Matthew Forbes tied the game at 73 with 7:30 to play, Ben Baker tipped in a missed three by Ostertag to give Saskatchewan its first lead since 20-19 in the first quarter before two Ostertag threes upped the lead to ten and helped them to the win.
"Basically we had to stay patient," said Saskatchewan's fifth-year head coach, Barry Rawlyk. "We were having some matchup problems, so we went to our zone and stayed in our zone and eventually we were able to cover off some of their shooters better and force them to come inside with the ball. We stayed with what the basic plan was and in the end, it kind of paid off for us."
The Huskies will now contest Saturday's fifth-place game at 2 p.m. against the winner of the second consolation match between Bishop's and Windsor.
The AUS champion Tigers return home with an 0-2 record.
SSK 20-17-28-25: 90
DAL 22-22-27-8: 79
Points: Evan Ostertag (32), Dadrian Collins (21), Ben Baker (12)
Rebounds: Ben Baker (13), Matthew Forbes (8)
Assists: Ben Baker (8)
Player of the game: Evan Ostertag
Points: Sven Stammberger (34), Jarred Reid (16)
Rebounds: Jarred Reid (6), Kashrell Lawrence (6)
Assists: Richie Kanza Mata (4)
Player of the game: Sven Stammberger
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS
Thursday, March 12
11:00 Quarter-final 1: No. 1 Carleton 90, No. 8 Saskatchewan 50
13:00 Quarter-final 2: No. 4 Victoria 57, No. 5 Dalhousie 56
18:00 Quarter-final 3: No. 7 Ryerson 82, No. 2 Windsor 68
20:00 Quarter-final 4: No. 3 Ottawa 91, No. 6 Bishop's 85 (OT)
Friday, March 13
14:00 Consolation 1: Saskatchewan 90, Dalhousie 79
16:00 Consolation 2: Windsor vs. Bishop's (Rogers TV / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
Saturday, March 14
14:00 5th-place game: Saskatchewan vs ADT (Rogers TV / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
18:00 Semifinal 1: Carleton vs. Victoria (Sportsnet 360 / www.CIS-SIC.tv) **
20:30 Semifinal 2: Ryerson vs. Ottawa (Sportsnet 360 / www.CIS-SIC.tv) **
Sunday, March 15
11:30 Bronze (Rogers TV / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
15:00 Final (Sportsnet 360 & ONE / www.CIS-SIC.tv) **
* Rogers TV, Rogers TV Sports +, Super Sports Pak.
** The webcast of the semifinals & final are on pay-per-view basis.
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