Saturday, February 17, 2018
U OF R BASKETBALL: WOMEN ADVANCE, MEN SWEPT
The win gives the Cougars a two-game sweep over the Thunderbirds as the U of R becomes the first team to advance to the Canada West semifinals.
While Thursday’s win saw the Cougars jump out to an early double-digit lead and hold a comfortable lead the entire way, Friday’s game was a different story. Regina took the lead for good midway through the second quarter and though the Cougars built up a 12-point lead at one juncture in the third quarter, UBC battled back and it was a one-possession game for most of the first half of the fourth.
But the No. 2-ranked Cougars clamped down on defence down the stretch to secure the win. They only surrendered three points in the final five minutes of the game – all of which came on a Jessica Hanson three-pointer – and Giles hit a pair of three-pointers to help the lead balloon back up to 12 with two minutes to go.
The Cougars will now turn their attention to next weekend, which will see them host either Calgary or Victoria in another best-of-three series.
“We were able to make plays down the stretch when we needed to, and I’m extremely happy we got this done in two games,” Cougars head coach Dave Taylor said. “We need to have a good week of preparation heading into a best-of-three semifinal series, which is something we haven’t done in years.”
It’s been 16 years since the Cougars have played in a best-of-three Canada West semifinal. The Cougars beat Alberta in two straight games back in 2002 to advance to the conference final, and Canada West changed the playoff format soon thereafter to go to a Final Four format which saw a single semifinal game immediately followed by a single conference championship game. This year’s format will have two best-of-three semifinals next weekend and a one-game conference final the following weekend.
Next weekend’s semifinal series will again be scheduled for Thursday and Friday with a third and deciding game to be played on Saturday if it’s needed. All games will tip off at 7:00 PM at the CKHS.
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - One night after suffering a 47-point defeat, the University of Regina’s men’s basketball team put together a fine effort on the road but ultimately fell short in a 105-98 overtime loss to Lethbridge in Game 2 of the Canada West quarterfinal series.
The win sends Lethbridge off to the conference semifinals, where the Pronghorns will play the winner of the Alberta/UNBC series.
It looked like it might be a disastrous night for the Cougars after Lethbridge scored the first 10 points of the game, but Regina quickly righted the ship with Shaquille Harris leading the charge. Harris scored nine of his 24 points in the first quarter alone and Lethbridge led just 24-23 after the first quarter, and the two teams went into halftime knotted at 45-45.
Both teams shot exactly 42.9% from the field and had similar rebounding and turnover numbers – Regina had 47 rebounds and 18 turnovers while Lethbridge had 43 and 16 – but the difference in Saturday’s game was at the stripe. The Cougars hit only 17 of their 30 attempts from the free throw line, while Lethbridge was 30-for-39.
(Braden Konschuh/Cougar Athletics)