Can West Final Four set to tip off

High fiving all the way to the Final Four./ Arthur Ward

High fiving all the way to the Final Four./ Arthur Ward

Cougars look to book their tickets to Final 8

This Friday, March 11, the University of Regina’s women’s basketball team will compete in the Canada West Final Four. Their semi-final will see them face off against the MacEwan University Griffins and, the next day will see the squad take the court against the University of Alberta Pandas or that familiar foe, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. Here is a set of predictions for a weekend where a certain berth into the CIS Championship – this year’s event taking place in Fredericton, New Brunswick – will be on the line.

Semi-Final #1 (5p.m.) Cougars versus Griffins

Including the preseason, MacEwan’s team has only lost five times. They have been dominant in conference play, but have lost to the very same University of Calgary Dinos that the Cougars defeated in order to advance to this point. The Griffins lost by a score of 88-57. In addition, the team has rarely been challenged during their run to the playoffs. The closest they came to a losing effort (while still winning) was a four-point game against the University of the Fraser Valley, a team that the Cougars dispatched by a lofty thirty eight-point margin during the preseason.

For the Cougars, the only danger is that they may look forward to the looming matchup against what will likely be the U of S. This should be an easy win, especially with newly named Canada West All-Stars, Alyssia Kajati and Charlotte Kot in the lineup.

Prediction: Cougars with the resounding win, 75-55.

Semi-Final #2 (7p.m.) Huskies versus Pandas

This one is less cut and dry. The Huskies and Pandas split their season series, one played in the very same gym in which this weekend’s games will be contested. The Huskies lost the first game by one in overtime, but then battled back for a twelve-point victory in the second.

With that said, I just don’t think that Alberta can battle against a team that looks formidable as always. The Huskies won the division, while the U of A found themselves in third place. This game should be close, but I think the women from Saskatoon will find themselves playing for gold on Saturday.

Prediction: 80-73, Huskies.

Bronze Medal Game: Pandas Versus Griffins

Not much to see here, with just pride on the line. Given the fact that the Pandas spent their entire year battling it out in the tougher Pioneer Division. I fully expect the Pandas to win by at least twenty.

Prediction: 80-60, U of A.

Gold Medal Game: Huskies Versus Cougars

In a predictable rematch between the Canada West’s top two squads, the Saskatchewan rivalry will be renewed once again. Look for the game to come down to who wins the battles inside and on the glass. Dalyce Emmerson of the Huskies has been averaging an impressive nine rebounds a game, placing her third in the entirety of the Canada West. In addition, the always dangerous Laura Dally, who scored a season-high thirty-five points in their loss to the Cougars last month, will also be important for the U of S.

For the Cougars, the game will once come down to whether the aforementioned Kot and Kajati can contain the impressive game of the Huskies as well as if the Cougars can keep up the excellent ball movement and transition play that has buoyed them throughout the year.

In the end, however, I think the Cougars will be booking their ticket to the championships with a win by the score of 82-78.

Prediction: Cougars, 82-78.

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