Vancouver, BC – A dominant opening half was the difference as the No. 2 ranked UBC Thunderbirds women’s basketball team defeated the Regina Cougars 75-59 in game one of the Canada West Quarter-Final best-of-three series Friday night at War Memorial Gym.
Fifth-year standouts Harleen Sidhu and Kris Young led the Thunderbirds on Friday night. Sidhu, recently named a Canada West Second Team All-Star, led all scorers with 23 points. Young, the Canada West Player of the Year, finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. Adrienne Parkin chipped in with 13 points and seven boards.
Despite a second half surge, the Cougars faced too big a hole to climb out of. Alyssia Kajati did all she could her for the Cougars scoring 16 points and pulling down seven rebounds. Caitlin Zacharias added nine points.
Once again UBC’s defence was the difference especially in the opening half. The Thunderbirds limited Regina to just 31.7 per cent shooting from the floor and forced 13 turnovers in the half.
“I think we came out strong from the start because that’s what we wanted to do,” explained Sidhu.
The Thunderbirds jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. Before the Cougars were able to adjust, the ‘Birds were up 23-12 after 10 minutes. Young and Parkin combined for 15 of UBC’s 23 points.
Regina did not have an answer in the second quarter, but credit must go to the UBC defence which limited the Cougars to just seven points in the quarter. On the offensive end, Sidhu started to take charge as she and Young both had 11 points at the break, as UBC led 37-19.
In the third quarter, the Cougars finally found their offensive form, but couldn’t keep the Thunderbirds offence in check. UBC outscored Regina 26-21 in the quarter and led by 23 after three quarters of play, 63-40.
Regina did not quit in the final quarter, outscoring UBC 19-12 but it would not be enough as the Thunderbirds earned a 75-59 victory.
With the win, UBC takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. These two teams will square off again tomorrow in game two at 5:00 pm PST. A win for UBC will advance them to the Canada West Final Four, while Regina will look to extend the series to a third and deciding game on Sunday.
“Tomorrow it’s the same game plan. We’re going to come out and carry out our energy from the beginning and hopefully take care of it,” added Sidhu.