(By University of Regina Sports Information)
REGINA – The University of Regina's men's basketball team locked up the No. 5 seed in the Canada West postseason with a 96-88 victory over Saskatchewan on Saturday night at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
The win puts the Cougars into the 5/12 matchup in next weekend's Canada West play-in round. They'll host No. 12-seeded Mount Royal next Friday at the CKHS, and a win in that game would set up a rematch against No. 4-seeded Saskatchewan in a best-of-three quarter-final series in Saskatoon.
"They're an extremely talented bunch and they have enough dynamic players that you never really know if you've got the game in hand," Cougars head coach Steve Burrows said. "It's always a battle against these guys and it's nice to get a win on Senior Night."
The Cougars never trailed in Saturday's win. They drew first blood in the game with a 14-3 run in the first quarter that put them up by 15, and held onto the double-digit lead for most of the contest. Saskatchewan cut it to a two-possession game just before halftime, but Carter Millar sparked a quick 9-0 run that restored the 15-point lead at the break. Regina led by as many as 17 points in the second half, including as late as with under four minutes left before Saskatchewan went on a late 17-6 run to get it to within six points with just under a half minute remaining. But a Myles Hamilton free throw made it a three-possession game, and then the Cougars put it away after Hamilton got a steal and a fast-break bucket shortly thereafter.
Three Cougars led the way with 16 points in the win, including Greishe Clerjuste, Benjamin Hillis, and Carter Millar. Clerjuste and Hillis also tied for the team high with eight rebounds, while Samuel Hillis added 14 points and Hamilton added 13 points.
Lawrence Moore again led Saskatchewan, piling up a game-high 24 points in addition to leading all players in assists (9) and steals (6). J.T. Robinson added 14 points, while Maxwell Amoafo and Alexander Dewar both chipped in with 13. Amoafo added 10 rebounds to notch the game's lone double-double.
Next Friday's play-in game between Regina and Mount Royal will tip off at 7:00 PM at the CKHS. It will mark the first time that the two Cougar squads have matched up in the postseason.
NOTES: Regina finishes the Canada West schedule with a 14-6 record, marking just the third time in program history that the Cougars have finished the year with at least 14 conference wins ... Kornel Tokolyi, the team's lone graduating player, was honoured on Saturday as part of Senior Night.