University of Regina Sports Information
REGINA – The University of Regina's women's basketball team put the finishing touches on an impressive weekend sweep over No. 2-ranked Saskatchewan on Saturday night, defeating the Huskies by a 78-64 score at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport in a game they led nearly from wire to wire.
The win, combined with UBC's overtime win at Alberta on Saturday, moves the Cougars up into the No. 3 spot in terms of conference RPI ranking which is used to determine postseason seeding. And the news isn't nearly all bad for Saskatchewan, as that same UBC win helps send the Huskies into the playoffs with the coveted No. 1 seed.
"We needed a sweep to improve our playoff position and we took care of business against a very good team," Cougars head coach Dave Taylor said. "I just like how we played and we did all the stuff we've talked about all year. We've been inconsistent for the most part this season, but this weekend we were consistent and we got results because of it."
The Cougars only trailed once, and that was for less than a minute midway through the first quarter. Regina led 18-11 after the first quarter, took a 33-28 lead into halftime, but came out of the break with a huge 11-0 run in the first two minutes of the second half. The Cougars hit threes on three consecutive possessions early in the third, the first by Michaela Kleisinger and the next two by Macaela Crone.
Regina led by double digits almost the entire rest of the game, and put a stranglehold on the contest with 10 straight points that put them up by 20 early in the fourth.
Crone finished with a huge double-double for the Cougars, scoring 18 points and leading all players with a career-high 14 rebounds. Kyanna Giles scored a team-high 19 points, while Kleisinger and Christina McCusker both finished with 12. McCusker, a fifth-year player in her final regular season home game, had a huge group of fans out to support her on Senior Night.
Libby Epoch was the only Saskatchewan player to hit double digits in scoring, finishing with a game-high 23 points in the setback.
Regina finishes with a 17-3 record to match Calgary for tops in the conference, while Saskatchewan closes out conference play with a 16-4 mark.
Both teams will enjoy a bye through the first round of the playoffs before hosting a best-of-three quarterfinal series two weekends from now. Saskatchewan will host the lowest remaining seed of the four winners of the play-in round, while the Cougars will host the second-highest seeded winner. Both of those quarterfinal series will begin on Thursday, Feb. 14.
NOTES: While RPI determines the postseason seeding, the Cougars technically finish in first place in the Canada West standings for the second consecutive season ... Regina's early-season road sweep over Calgary gave the Cougars the tiebreaker over the Dinos for first.