Regina, SK – The UBC Thunderbirds overcame a flat opening quarter to defeat the Regina Cougars 66-52 for the team’s 10th straight win Saturday night in the Saskatchewan capital. With the win UBC improves to 15-3 on the season while the Cougars fall to 12-6.
Another incredible performance by the Thunderbirds’ Kris Young allowed for a comeback victory after trailing at halftime. The ‘Birds produced an impressive third quarter in which they outscored the Cougars 25-10 to overcome a five point deficit and take a 10 point lead into the final quarter
Entering the third quarter down by five points, the ‘Birds wanted to hit as hard as they could to shift that lead. After Regina went up 32-26 early in the second half, UBC went on a 17-3 run, to jump in front 43-35. Young scored seven of the Thunderbirds 17 points during the run. UBC would finish off the quarter up 51-41.
A solid defensive final quarter from the Thunderbirds prevented any surprises from the home team. UBC prevented the Cougars from getting inside, which left them only the option of throwing of long jumpers. Despite hitting a trio of three-pointers Regina would never get closer then nine points as UBC held on for the 66-52 win.
“We started the game a bit flat but our defence kept us in it while we struggled offensively,” said UBC head coach Deb Huband. “Kris (Young) really stepped up for us when we sputtered and was an experienced and skilled fifth-year leader.”
Defence continues to be UBC’s calling card. The Thunderbirds forced 26 turnovers, finished with 10 steals, and limited the Cougars to just 34.5% shooting from the field.
Unlike Friday night, the Regina Cougars entered the game with much more thirst and aggression. The first quarter saw the Cougars play a lot better, looking to avenge the 29-point loss at the hands of the Thunderbirds the previous evening. After a tight start to the game, the Cougars, lead by Charlotte Kot, went on a 7-0 run to end the quarter and lead 15-8 after 10 minutes of action.
Regina extended its lead to nine points early in the quarter, 19-10. The Cougars’ Jennilea Coppola led the way with six points in the quarter. However, UBC were able to minimize the deficit before entering the halftime break. Cougars were still up 31-26.
Cassandra Knievel finished with ten points from three successful three-points. Kara Spotton had another efficient performance shooting 4-of-7 from the floor for eight points on the night.
Coppola was the best player for the home side for the second night in a row. She recorded a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Charlotte Kot also scored 14 points while Katie Polischuck added 13.
“We are thrilled that we were able to sweep the weekend on the road against a tough, competitive team,” said Huband. “We look forward to our final home regular season games next week.”
UBC will have the opportunity to wrap up first overall in the regular season as they play host to the Manitoba Bisons for a pair of games Friday and Saturday night at War Memorial Gym in the final weekend of the regular season.