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Comeback falls short, UNBC loses 91-86 to Saskatchewan Huskies

T-wolves finish 10th, will advance to Canada West men's basketball playoff tournament in Winnipeg Feb. 21-25

The UNBC Timberwolves made up for a slow start with an exciting finish but couldn’t catch up to the Saskatchewan Huskies, losing 91-86 in their final regular season game Saturday at the Northern Sport Centre.

The hot-handed Huskies had their radar well tuned and found the net on 13 of their 30 three-point shots to hold off the T-wolves’ comeback attempts to nail down their 11th victory of the season.

Easton Thimm’s 21 points and 17 rebounds led Saskatchewan (11-9) to a split in their weekend visit to Prince George. Alexander Dewar sunk 18 points and Chan De Ciman collected 17 while going 5-for-8 from three-point land.

The game was the last in the U SPORTS Canada West careers of T-wolves Spencer Ledoux, Chris Ross and Darren Hunter and they each finished with double-figure point totals.

Ledoux led all UNBC shooters with 19 points, Ross had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Hunter hit for 10 points.

UNBC guard Justin Sunga tied the T-wolves single-game assist record with 10.

After an 86-75 win over Saskatchewan on Friday, the T-wolves got off to a terrible start in the rematch and trailed the Huskies 15-2 before the game was four minutes old.

The visitors were up by 16 points by the early stages of the second half when the sputtering T-wolves’ offence sparked to life and they outscored the Huskies 20-11 in the third quarter to cut the gap to five heading into the final 10 minutes.

With three minutes left Justin Sunga’s long-range shot got the T-wolves within a point of the tie but Dewar followed up with a free throw and layup to give the Huskies some breathing room. Hunter’s layup made it a one-shot game again and De Ciman answered with a three to put the Huskies up 85-80 with 2:35 left.

Josh Gillespie, with his 16th point of the game, and Hunter cut the lead to one with 1:40 left but Dewar nailed a three seconds later. Ledoux responded with another field goal to cut the lead to 88-86 with 58 seconds left and

Evgeny Baukin has a chance to tie it but missed on his layup drive. Saskatchewan then sealed it with 14 seconds left on a three-point jumper from Emmanuel Bonsu.

Friday’s win clinched a playoff spot for UNBC (9-11). The T-wolves finished 10th and they will be among the 12 teams that will meet for the men’s playoff tournament in Winnipeg, Feb. 21-25.