U SPORTS Communications
REGINA – The University of Regina's women's basketball team went on a huge 18-4 run in the second half to pull away from Laval for a 76-56 win on Thursday night in a U SPORTS Championship quarter-final matchup at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
The win sends the No. 2-seeded Cougars to the semifinals on Saturday night, where they'll face either Acadia or Saskatchewan for the right to advance to the national championship game.
The Cougars led nearly from wire to wire, though it was a one-possession game as late as with two minutes left in the first half. But Regina set the tone for what was to follow, as Michaela Kleisinger drilled a triple and Carolina Goncalves and Charlotte Kot had buckets on back-to-back possessions to give the Cougars seven points in under a minute and a 36-27 lead at the break.
Regina scored the first four points of the second half to build up a double-digit lead for the first time and though Laval fought back to within six points by holding the Cougars without a field goal for five minutes, the home side was able to put the game away with the big run that started with a minute left in the third. It started with Sara Hubenig three-pointer, and triples on back-to-back possessions by Kleisinger and Goncalves were the backbreakers as the Regina lead ballooned to 21 three minutes into the final period.
"I thought we had really good defensive intensity for the majority of the game, and whenever it got close we managed to hit a big shot," Cougars head coach Dave Taylor said. "We got some big stops during that big run in the second half, and when we do that, it allows us to get out and run."
Goncalves came off the bench to lead the Cougars in scoring, ending up with 15 points while also chipping in with seven rebounds. Kot and Kyanna Giles both had 14 points, with Kot's nine rebounds leaving her just short of a double-double. Kleisinger added 10 points, giving the Cougars four players in double figures in scoring.
Jane Gagné had a game-high 19 points for Laval, while Claudia Émond added 13 points for the Rouge et Or.
Laval will now move to the consolation side of the bracket and will play at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Friday night.
Players of the Game
University of Regina: Carolina Goncalves
Laval University: Claudia Émond