Cougars into Conference Final

10/08/2018 Posted by admin

The University of Regina’s women’s basketball team held off the Alberta Pandas for a 72-68 win on Friday night in a Canada West semifinal game at the Physical Activity Complex in Saskatoon.  The Cougars will square off with Saskatchewan on Saturday night for the Canada West championship, while Alberta will meet Fraser Valley in the third-place game.

Regina led for the majority of the first three quarters, but never built up more than a 10-point lead. After chipping away at the deficit and going into the fourth tied with the Cougars, Alberta’s Katie Arbuthnot hit a pair of free throws to give the Pandas their first lead since late in the first quarter.  That’s when Regina’s Lindsay Ledingham had seen enough, and the third-year forward reeled off eight consecutive points of her own to give the Cougars a lead they would never relinquish.

Alberta was always within striking distance of the Cougars, cutting the deficit to just two points on three separate occasions in the fourth. The Pandas had a chance to tie it late in the contest, but a three-pointer attempted by Marisa Haylett with six seconds left rimmed out.

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“Other than the second quarter, we really limited our turnovers which enabled us to run an effective offence,” said Cougars head coach Dave Taylor, whose team committed a season-low 16 turnovers in the victory. “Our usual suspects in Ledingham and (Joanna) Zalesiak were good, but in the first half Megan Chamberlin stepped up and (Gabrielle) Gheyssen did the same in the second.”

Ledingham was 10-for-11 from the free throw line and scored a game-high 21 points for the Cougars. Zalesiak scored 16, while Gheyssen added 15 and Chamberlin had 10.Haylett led the Pandas with 14 points, while Anneka Bakker scored 13 and Kendra Asleson had 12. Georgia Popovici scored 11 and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds to register the contest’s lone double-double.

A win for the Cougars tomorrow would give them their second Canada West championship in program history and an automatic berth in the CIS Championship in Windsor, Ont. If the Cougars lose, they’ll host the four-team CIS West Regional next weekend at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.

Alberta now knows it will be travelling east for a regional next weekend. A win over Fraser Valley puts the Pandas into the CIS Central Regional, while a loss to the Cascades sends them to the CIS East Regional.  The third-place game kicks things off on Saturday night with a 5 p.m. tip. Regina and Saskatchewan will decide the conference championship beginning at 7 p.m. Webcast and live statistics will be available for both games.

NOTES: Saskatchewan took an 88-59 win over Fraser Valley in the other semifinal … the Cougars are now 6-0 against Alberta in the postseason and are a perfect 6-0 in Canada West semifinal games since the current format was introduced prior to the 2002-03 season.

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