Canada is guaranteed a new CIS menís basketball champion, and it wonít be the Carleton Ravens.
The Saskatchewan Huskies painted the capital green, winning 86-82 in another Semi-final Saturday classic that sank the Ravensí hope of repeating at home. They did it with some Prairie toughness inside and sweet shooting from Michael Linklater. The Huskies' floor leader scored 23 points and sealed it with a swish, hitting a three-pointer that opened a six-point edge with 38.1 seconds left.
Carleton was up against it from the first quarter on, trailing by as much as 15 points with 14 minutes to play and seven points with five to go. They got the deficit down to a single point before the Huskies pulled out the win.
Nepean native Kevin McCleery had 20 points for Carleton in his final CIS game. Elliot Thompson (23 points) and Cole Hobin (19), two Ravens who will return next season when the nationals are in Halifax and Carleton will not have benefit of a host berth, helped spark a comeback in front of an announced attendance of 12,204 for the semi-final doubleheader.
Showron Glover had 20 points for the Huskies. Forwards Michael Lieffers and Troy Gottselig, who had the task of stymieing McCleery, each had 13.
Saskatchewan will face the UBC Thunderbirds in the championship game (6:30, TSN2) on Sunday. On March 5, the Huskies beat the T-Birds 104-87 in overtime in the Canada West semi-final. The victor will be the first champion from Canada West since 2002, the last time Carleton did not play in the tourney.