Cougars score 82-59 win over TWU in Game 1 of quarter-final series

Cougars score 82-59 win over TWU in Game 1 of quarter-final series

University of Regina Sports Information

REGINA, Sask. – The University of Regina's women's basketball team opened its best-of-three Canada West quarter-final series against Trinity Western with an 82-59 win over the Spartans on Thursday night at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.

Seeded No. 2 in the Canada West postseason, the Cougars got off to a slow start as Trinity Western led 19-18 after the opening 10 minutes. But it was all Regina from there, as the home side outscored TWU by a 25-6 margin in the second quarter and led by at least 16 points the rest of the way.

"I'm happy to get the first game," Cougars head coach Dave Taylor said. "Offensively, we shot the ball well. But defensively, we were inconsistent and we'll have to clean that up tomorrow."

Katie Polischuk led all players with 23 points for Regina in the win, a good portion of which came from the stripe as she made a career-high nine free throws. Kyanna Giles scored 10 points in the first quarter alone and ended up with 15 to go along with eight rebounds, while Sara Hubenig added 10 points.

Christina McCusker also had a nice game for Regina, setting a career high with seven blocks – one off Brittany Read's school record of eight – while adding eight points and five rebounds.

Kayla Gordon and Natalie Carkner combined for well over half of TWU's offence. Gordon finished with 21 points and tied Giles for the game high with eight rebounds, while Carkner was 5-for-9 from three-point range and scored 15 points.

The No. 3-ranked Cougars scored the first seven points, but the visiting Spartans – Canada West's No. 7 seed in the playoffs – went on a big 14-4 run that turned a seven-point Regina lead into a three-point advantage for TWU. But that turned out to be the only lead of the game for Trinity Western, as the Cougars scored the next eight points to take the lead and took a 43-25 lead into the halftime break after the big second quarter.

The Cougars led by as many as 27 points in the third and though Trinity Western tried to get back into it with 10-2 and 9-0 runs in the second half, it wasn't enough. Back-to-back triples by Carkner brought the score to 74-58 with just under six minutes to go, but Taylor called a timeout and Regina allowed only one point the rest of the way.

Game 2 of the series is slated for Friday night (7:00) at the CKHS.