(By University of Regina Sports Information)
REGINA, Sask. – The University of Regina's men's basketball team got out to a strong start, then exploded in the second half to pull away from Fraser Valley for a big 98-57 win on Saturday night at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
The win gives the Cougars a weekend sweep over the Cascades and their third consecutive victory as Regina improves its Canada West record to 3-1 on the season.
Regina used an early 11-2 run to jump out to a quick lead, and would hang on to that double-digit lead for the remainder of the contest. They led 28-10 after the opening period, then took a 40-22 lead into halftime after a low-scoring second quarter.
But it was almost all Cougars after Fraser Valley put up seven straight points just after halftime. Benjamin Hillis put an end to the run with a layup, and then Brian Ofori came up with back-to-back dunks in a span of 15 seconds – both of which came off Cascades turnovers – to deflate the visitors by quickly ballooning the lead up to 22.
Regina outscored UFV by a 32-20 margin in the third, then by a 26-15 count in the fourth as both teams gave their bench players extended minutes.
"We made some minor adjustments from last night, but the difference was really multiple guys making big-effort plays for us out there," Cougars assistant coach Wade Hackl said. "Our energy was much better in the third quarter than it has been in the past, and we raised our intensity more consistently and for longer periods of time tonight."
Ofori had a huge game for the Cougars, finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, and three assists while shooting 4-for-5 from three-point range. Brandon Tull added 15 points for the U of R, while Shaquille Harris came off the bench to notch 13 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. Samuel Hillis and Shawn Lathan both had 12 points, with Lathan adding eight rebounds as well.
As a team, the Cougars launched 36 three-pointers and hit 14 of them, giving them a 39% success rate in the win. Harris (3-for-4) and Lathan (3-for-8) joined Ofori as the leading culprits from deep, while Igual, Tull, and both Hillis brothers all hit one three.
Second-year guard Daniel Adediran had nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds for Fraser Valley, while Vick Toor led the Cascades in points (10) and assists (4) for the second time in as many nights. UFV, which falls to 1-5 on the season, will now play four consecutive home games – two each against Winnipeg and UBC Okanagan.
The Cougars will be back in action next weekend with two games at UNBC in Prince George, B.C.
NOTES: The 41-point margin of victory was the U of R's largest since a 109-66 home win over Winnipeg back on Feb. 18, 2005 ... the only times the Cougars have won by more points than tonight's win were that Winnipeg victory and a 94-50 dismantling of Lakehead back during the 1986-87 season ... the Cougars also had a 41-point win over Winnipeg on Dec. 1, 1990 (95-54).