Cougars Basketball goes 4-0

U of R defends Home Court. University of Regina Athletics

A basketball war that you learn about MEOW!

The Cougars continued their playoff push this weekend with a home matchup against the Brandon Bobcats. The Bobcats came into Regina featuring one of the weakest teams in Canada West so both Cougar teams found it imperative to get a sweep and continue to establish themselves as playoff teams.

The Cougar women absolutely destroyed Brandon in both games. Winning 91-48 in the first game, the women took a small lead into the half before burying the Brandon team in the second half. Michaela Kleisinger was brilliant recording her third triple-double of the season with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists. Even more amazing, she shot 80 per cent from the field and only had one turnover. Even against weak competition this level of play is what should be expected of Kleisinger as the team needs her to play at a high level to move forward in the playoffs. Alexi Rowden, Faith Reid, Micaela Crone, and Ella Farthing all had double-digit efforts chipping into the blowout. Rowden also collected a double-double with 14 rebounds along with playing solid defence recording a block and a steal.

In the second game the Cougars used a strong first half to blow out the Bobcats once again. The Cougars jumped out to a 29-11 lead and leaned on their half-court defence to get the win. On Friday Brandon turned the ball over quite a bit but cut it down in the second game so the Cougars forced Brandon to shoot 30 per cent from the field. On offence the Cougars used a well-balanced attack, having six players score in double figures and Rowden, Kleisinger, and Zoe Hartmann getting double-digit rebounds as well. The Cougars played a really great game moving the ball well and competing hard on defence.

Adam Jones who was at the games this weekend had this to say about the team’s effort.

“The ladies played super well against a clearly weaker opponent, but those are the games that you must win. The Canada West division is so competitive and the ladies have not had a full squad really this whole year, so it really shows that they are a playoff team and if they can play at a high level against the top end competition like U of S, they could surprise some people.”

Jones is highly optimistic of the teams chances and loves what coach Taylor brings to the table.

“Coach Taylor is excellent, he has high expectations of the girls, but he is also fair to them and I think he does his best to put players in the right positon to succeed. I thought he could have played his bench a bit more but he is working with a limited bench already so you understand he is working with whatever he can.”

The Cougars have a bye next week so will not have any games to keep you entertained, while they prepare for the Manitoba Bisons on the road.

The men got a bit more of a fight from the Bobcats, but ultimately beat them 94-82 on Friday night. After the first quarter it really wasn’t much of a game as the Cougars took complete control. They got most of their offence from 3 players: Greishe Clerjuste, Carter Millar, and Brayden Kuski scoring 22, 20, and 18 respectively. Thankfully for the U of R they hard three scorers compared to the efforts of Haashim Wallace and Anthony Tsegakele who ran the offence for the Bobcats with 31 and 25. Wallace also had active hands on defence swiping 7 steals! The Cougars really did their damage from behind the 3-point line, knocking down 13: nearly half of their field goals.

In the second game the men almost blew it as they carried a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter. It was a strange ending; kind of ugly to watch, frankly, but at the end of the day the men got the W. Carter Millar continued his strong play with another double-double 21 and 11, while Clerjuste and Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo scored 14 and 10, but the Cougars had a well balanced offence getting chip ins from nearly everyone. Jaleel Webb and Tsegakele led the Bobcats with 25 and 18. Sam Hillis scored what would be the game winner with a couple of free throws with over two minutes to go in the fourth quarter. From there it was all defence and missed shots as the Cougars won 79-78.

Emily Thompson watched the men keenly this weekend and has this to say about the sweep.

“The first game I thought the guys played really well, they were knocking down shots competing hard on defense and really took the Bobcats out of the game from the first quarter on. I was super disappointed in their 4th quarter effort in the second game though. They looked like they had already won the game and got a bit complacent on defense. Basketball is a game of runs and they really needed to clamp down on defense against an inferior opponent, but I’m so thankful they got out of there with the win.”

Thompson is excited about the team making the playoffs and hopes the men can move up in the standings.

“I think this could be one of the more well-rounded teams we have had in a while, Carter is playing exceptionally well. He is a walking double-double. If the guys can make their 3-pointers they can compete with anyone, but they need to be hitting those shots against the best in the west, which will obviously be a lot tougher.”

The Cougar men will also be on a bye this weekend and will play the Bisons on the road next week.

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