(By University of Regina Sports Information)
REGINA – The University of Regina's women's basketball team secured a nice win on Senior Night with an 89-72 victory over Winnipeg on Saturday at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
While the Cougars honoured the careers of fifth-year players Sara Hubenig, Charlotte Kot, and Caitlin Zacharias following the game, it was a second-year guard that again stole the show for the U of R. Kyanna Giles had a double-double at the half and finished with a 22-point, 15-rebound performance for the Cougars to help them stretch their winning streak to 12 and improve their Canada West record to 17-1 on the season.
While the Cougars led from nearly wire to wire, it was a different game than Friday's affair which saw Regina build up a significant early lead and cruise to victory. The U of R led 23-16 after the first quarter, then built up a 15-point lead late in the second only to see Winnipeg close the half on a 9-0 run to cut the Cougars' lead to just six at the break.
Coming out of halftime, Winnipeg got to within one after the Boulanger sisters connected on a fast break to make the score 40-39 – but the Cougars replied with a counterpunch that swung momentum squarely in Regina's direction. The U of R scored the next 15 points, seven of which came courtesy of Hubenig, and Winnipeg never really recovered.
"I was happy with our performance tonight against a quality opponent, especially in the second half," Cougars head coach Dave Taylor said. "This sets us up well going into a big weekend at Saskatchewan to finish off the regular season."
Besides Giles' effort, which saw her also post three assists and three steals in addition to her 22 points and 15 boards, the Cougars had four other players score in double figures. Kyia Giles added 15 points, while Michaela Kleisinger had 13, Kot scored 12, and Carolina Goncalves finished with 11 in just 16 minutes played.
Two Winnipeg players combined for 57 of the Wesmen's 72 points as Faith Hezekiah put up 29 points and 12 rebounds with Antoinette Miller finishing with 28 points and seven boards. Winnipeg falls to 12-6 with the loss, but the Wesmen close out the Canada West schedule at home next Friday and Saturday against UBC Okanagan and have an excellent chance to host a conference play-in game the following weekend.
Regina improves to 17-1 with the victory and the Cougars will now prepare for a showdown against Saskatchewan (16-2) next Friday and Saturday in Saskatoon that will decide the top seed in the Canada West postseason.
NOTES: The Cougars are assured of one of the top three seeds in the conference and will receive a bye through to the Canada West quarterfinals ... Regina will host a best-of-three conference quarterfinal series at the CKHS beginning on Thursday, Feb. 15 against an opponent yet to be determined.