(By University of Regina Sports Information)
REGINA, Sask. – The University of Regina's men's basketball team led from start to finish on Saturday night, finishing with an 83-75 victory over the Brandon Bobcats at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
It looked like the Cougars would cruise to victory after going up by 17 points thanks to a Benjamin Hillis layup that made it 76-59 with just under three minutes to go, but Regina had to hold off a furious Brandon rally that ultimately fell just short. The Bobcats went on a 15-1 run over the next two minutes capped by back-to-back three-pointers by Jaleel Webb and Mikee Dosado that cut the Regina lead to three, but that was as close as they would get. Shawn Lathan hit a pair of free throws to get the Cougar lead back up to five, and Webb and Dosado both missed shots in the final seconds that would have made it a one-possession game.
Brian Ofori had another big night for the Cougars, piling up 23 points and 15 rebounds for a massive double-double in the win. Lathan finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Hillis had 14 points and Brandon Tull ended up with 13.
The win improves Regina's record to 9-7 on the season as the Cougars remain fifth in the Canada West standings both in terms of winning percentage and also in terms of RPI, which will be used to seed the 12 postseason teams.
Brandon (8-8) was led by John Paul's 15 points in just 19 minutes on the floor. Paul was 7-for-12 from the field for the Bobcats, while Webb (12 points) and Tyvon Cooper (11 points) also scored in double figures for the visitors. Brandon will now prepare for four critical regular season games against teams right around the Bobcats in the Canada West standings – first up is a pair of home games against Saskatchewan next weekend, then they'll finish with two big road games at Thompson Rivers on Feb. 2 and Feb. 3.
The Cougars also have four games left on the Canada West schedule, as they'll face a pair of teams currently riding winning streaks. Winnipeg (7-9) will take a four-game winning streak into Regina next weekend, and the Cougars will close out the conference schedule with two games against a Saskatchewan team that's also 7-9 and have won five straight contests. Those games will be played in Saskatoon on Feb. 2 and Feb. 3.
NOTES: Tull passed Paul Gareau for sixth on the U of R's all-time scoring list ... Tull now has 1322 career points and with four games remaining on the conference schedule has a chance to catch not only current assistant coach Joel Hunter (1359) for fifth, but also Chris Biegler (1362) for fourth.