Saturday, March 11, 2017
Cougars WBB Team To Play for 5th at Nationals
The University of Regina's women's basketball team defeated tournament host Victoria by a 78-64 score on Friday night in a consolation semifinal at the U SPORTS Championships.
The Cougars will now play Saskatchewan for fifth place as the two teams meet for the fifth time this season. The consolation final is scheduled for Saturday night (7:00 PT).
Though the Cougars never trailed after going on a 15-1 run in the first quarter, it was a tight game for much of the contest. Regina went on a 9-2 run to open the second, but the Vikes battled back from the 11-point deficit and a Jenna Bugiardini triple in the final seconds of the quarter – this after Calli McMillan hit a three from well beyond NBA range at the buzzer in the first for Victoria – cut the lead to 32-31 at the halftime break.
But the Cougars set the tone for the fourth quarter by scoring six points in the final 30 seconds of the third, capped by a Christina McCusker rebound and putback at the buzzer. Regina then held Victoria scoreless for the first four minutes of the fourth, and three-pointers on back-to-back possessions by Katie Polischuk and Britton Belyk put the Cougars up 13 with four minutes to go.
The Cougars had a balanced offence in the win, with Kyanna Giles and Avery Pearce both scoring 14 points and McCusker and Polischuk both finishing with 13. Giles added nine rebounds and six assists to lead the U of R in both categories, while Belyk finished with eight points in a spirited 11 minutes off the bench in the win. The Cougars also got seven points, six rebounds, and five assists from Sara Hubenig.
Saturday will mark the second consecutive season that the Cougars have played in the consolation final and the second time that the U of R has played Saskatchewan in the fifth-place game. The two teams also met in the consolation final back in 2012 in Calgary, a game which saw the Cougars win by a 64-60 margin.