SASKATOON (ISN) – The No. 1 seed University of Regina Cougars will head to the CIS Final Eight after defeating the No. 3 seed Brock University Badgers 85-62 Saturday night in the Women’s Basketball West Regional Final at the Physical Activity Complex in Saskatoon.
Regina will represent the Canada West, alongside the UBC Thunderbirds, winners of the Canada West champions, and the host Calgary Dinos. The OUA’s University of Windsor Lancers and the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees will also compete in the Final 8. Acadia will represent the AUS at the tournament.
Schools across the country, including Brock, will await the outcome of the wildcard berth – the final spot at the Final 8.
Guard Carly Graham finished with a game-high 17 points for the Cougars, followed by Canada West MVP Joanna Zalesiak and Michelle Clark with 16 points each. For the second straight night, Zalesiak was close to a triple-double with nine rebounds and seven assists.
Nicole Rosenkranz, an OUA First Team West Division All-Star, led the Badgers with 14 points and eight rebounds. Three other Badgers reached double-digit point totals. Samantha deJong scored 11 points, while Tara Giallonardo and Jessica Del Signore scored 10 points each.
For the second straight night Regina got off to a strong start. Zalesiak led the charge in the opening quarter scoring eight points as the Cougars outscored Brock 23-16 in the first 10 minutes. They continued their strong play in the second quarter stretching their lead to 19 points, 44-25, heading into the halftime break.
Regina Head Coach Dave Taylor had high praise for Zalesiak who had a strong weekend of play averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 7.5 assists.
“She runs our offence, and put so much pressure on other teams and that frees up some of our shooters,” said Taylor.
While the offense was impressive for the Cougars, defensively they were just as strong. Regina held their opponent’s shooting percentage to under 30% in the first 20 minutes. The Badgers managed just nine points in the second quarter going 4-18 from the floor and finished the first half 0-7 from beyond the arc.
“I thought we came out flat tonight,” said Brock head coach Si Khounviseth. “Unfortunately, we just didn’t respond when we had to.”
The Badgers fought hard till the end outscoring the Cougars 24-19 in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late. Brock also won the turnover battle causing 25 turnovers and capitalized by scoring 25 points on the turnovers.
The CIS Final 8 is scheduled for March 16-19 in Calgary. All games will be streamed live on ssncanada.ca
Scoring per quarter:
BRK 16-9-13-24: 62
REG 23-21-22-19: 85
Points: Carly Graham (17), Joanna Zalesiak (16), Michelle Clark (16)
Rebounds: Danielle Schmidt (12), Joanna Zalesiak (9)
Assists: Joanna Zalesiak (7)
Player of the game: Michelle Clark
Points: Nicole Rosenkranz (14), Samantha deJong (11)
Rebounds: Nicole Rosenkranz (8), Samantha deJong (7)
Assists: Emily McKay (2), Tara Giallonardo (2)
Player of the game: Nicole Rosenkranz