DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
Don Dayrit had the game of his life Friday night and the Saskatchewan Huskies stole all the joy.
The sophomore Winnipeg Wesmen guard had a career-high 41 points off the bench, but the Huskies rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit and prevailed 111-104 in overtime Friday at the Duckworth Centre.
Dayrit also hit a career-high eight three-pointers, but the Huskies pulled away with an 8-0 run in overtime to move to 4-3 on the season as Winnipeg watched its record fall to 4-3 in the process.
"It's always tougher when you're giving up buckets at the other end," Wesmen head coach Mike Raimbault said. "I think we're a little bit better when we get defensive stops and we can get into transition and flow into our offence. They were scoring and it was hard for us to get into the flow of the game coming back the other way."
And in a game where 215 points were scored, it may seem counter-intuitive to talk defence, but the Huskies were able to find stops when they needed to, holding the Wesmen to without a field goal in the final 1:33 and only two field goals in the final 7:35. Saskatchewan used that Winnipeg lull to go on a 10-0 run to tie the game at 83 on an Alexander Dewar jumper with 3:57 to go.
"We were able to get some stops, which we weren't able to do in the first half," Saskatchewan head coach Barry Rawlyk said. "I give (Winnipeg) credit, they shot the ball extremely well and maybe down the stretch fatigue got to them a little bit and they didn't shoot the ball quite as effectively down the stretch. And partly that was our pressure, too, so it was a little bit of everything."
While Dayrit was huge for Winnipeg, the Huskies got 41 out of Lawrence Moore, who also added 10 rebounds, three steals and one of the biggest shots of the game.
After Dayrit hit two free throws to give Winnipeg a 95-93 edge with eight seconds to go, Moore got to the paint and made a driving layup to tie the game with three seconds left. Narcisse Ambanza got a chance at the other end after a timeout, but his initial shot was short and his follow-up fell in after the buzzer sounded.
"In the first half we settled for some very low-quality shots," Rawlyk said. "It's easier when you're playing from the inside out, and we were able to get the ball into the paint a little bit … and a large part of it was just our mentality."
Ambanza dropped 22 with seven rebounds and seven assists. Sean Tarver had his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Emmanuel Akintunde added 18 points for the Huskies, who also got 17 from Joseph Barker, 14 from Maxwell Amoafo and 11 from Dewar.
The Wesmen lost starting post Spas Nikolov to fouls with 6:58 left in the game. That became a problem for a Wesmen team that likes to play small, but couldn't find rim protection from that point forward.
"When our starting centre fouled out and we had to play small it was a factor in contesting shots at the rim, for sure," Raimbault said.