On the first night of CW quarter-finals, there weren’t any surprises as all of the top seeded teams won at home. The game of the night occurred in Alberta as the #4 seed, Pandas defeated the Thunderbirds, 62-58 to continue their undefeated streak at home. In the other games, #1 seeded, Saskatchewan Huskies defeated University of Frasier Valley Cascades, 78-55. The #2 seed, Regina Cougars won big, 82-59 against Trinity Western Spartans. Finally, the #3 seed, Winnipeg Wesmen beat Victoria Vikes, 82-70.
Pandas vs. Thunderbirds Game one talking points–
Coming into this series, it was expected that it would be a very close series because the two previous games in January were split. The first game did not disappointed the hype surrounding it. The game was tied six times and late free-throws by fourth-year forward, Elle Hendershot and fifth-year guard, Maddie Rodgers sealed the victory for the Pandas.
Pandas win the turnover battle–
The Pandas heading into their matchup against the T-Birds averaged 18.3 turnovers per a game during the regular season. The Pandas had 24 turnovers in their win on Thursday night but, they scored 24 points off UBC Thunderbirds’ 27 turnovers in the game. The T-Birds were only able to score 18 points off of the Pandas turnovers. The Pandas had 14 steals in the game including five by Rodgers.
Maddie Rodgers steps up to the occasion-
Rodgers who is in the midst of her final Canada-West playoffs was ready to make a statement. Rodgers who led the team in scoring during the regular season continue that tradition in the playoffs with 14 points and three rebounds in the win.
Crisp was on point from downtown–
Pandas fifth-year guard, Shay Crisp was great from three-point line hitting three of her six attempts from downtown. Crisp had 11 points in the win. Crisp only hit 28 three-pointers during the regular season. The Pandas were 35.0% from downtown as they made 7 of their 20 attempts.
Pandas shutdown T-Birds Maddison Penn–
UBC’s second-year guard, Penn dominated during the T-Birds sweep against Timberwolves last weekend in play-in round. Penn was the second leading scorer in the Canada-West this season with 362 points. The Pandas did excellent job of guarding her in game one limited her to seven points in the lost. Penn scored 19 points in game one of the matchup during the regular season and in game two was limited to eight points.
Huskies vs. Cascades Game one talking points-
The two teams met in the first week of the regular season and split the series with the Huskies winning game one, 78-55 and Cascades won game two with a 59-48 win. This game was a lot different as the other two as the Huskies dominated from the first half scoring 46 points while Cascades only had 27 points.
The Huskies out-rebounded the Cascades-
Coming into this series, the Huskies averaged 37.9 rebounds per a game during the regular season. They had 38 rebounds including eight from rookie forward, Summer Masikewich in the game. The Huskies had 14 offensive rebounds and 24 defensive rebounds. The Cascades had 21 rebounds but only four offensive rebounds.
Huskies dominated with their chances –
The Huskies took advantage of the Cascades miscues as they scored 19 points off the Cascades’ 18 turnovers. The Cascades averaged 19.3 turnovers a game during the regular season. The Huskies also had 14 points coming off 2nd chances.
Huskies’ depth was key in the win–
The Huskies’ bench outscored the Cascades, 25-4. Fourth-year guard, Madeline Humbert had 10 points and five rebounds in 18 minutes. Second-year forward, Vera Crooks also had big game off the bench as she had nine points and ten rebounds in 15 minutes. The Cascades only bench points came from first-year guard, Amanda Thompson who had four-points in 27 minutes.
Cougars vs. Spartans Game one talking points-
The two schools met in the final weekend of November where the Cougars swept the Spartans winning 57-51 in game one and 85-47 in game two.
The Cougars Field Goal % played a role–
The Cougars came into the postseason ranked seventh in CW for field goal % with 38.9 %. On Thursday night, the Cougars shot 46.2 % from the field. The Cougars’ top shooters on the night were fifth-year guard, Katie Polischuk and first-year guard, Kyanna Giles. Polischuk was 6/14 on the court but struggled in three-point shooting as she made two of her ten attempts. Polischuk ended the night with 23 points. Giles was 6/10 in the field and made two of her four three-pointers in game. Giles had 15 points and eight rebounds.
Strong depth for Cougars–
The Cougars’ bench scored 22 points while Spartans scored eight points from the bench. First-year guard, Britton Belyk scored six points along with two rebounds in 15 minutes for Regina. First-year guard, Kyia Giles also had a big game for the Cougars as she had six points and five rebounds in 18 minutes. Spartans’ fourth-year forward, Ashleigh Barnes had five points and five rebounds coming off the bench in the lost.
The Cougars had 17 turnovers and scored 21 points off 20 turnovers committed by the Spartans. The team had 11 steals and 10 blocks. Kyia Gilles had three steals and third-year forward, Christina McCusker led the team in blocked shots with seven blocks. The team also had 33 defensive rebounds in the game.
The Cougars were fanatic when it came to attacking the rim as they had 12 offence rebounds and scored 48 points from inside the paint.
The Cougars won the game in third quarter after they outscored the Spartans, 25-6.
Wesmen vs. Vikes Game One talking points-
The Wesmen and Vikes played against each other in the final weekend of the season. The Wesmen swept the series beating the Vikes, 88-76 in game one and 80-69 in game two.
The importance of third-quarter–
Three of the four quarters were very balance when it came to scoring, the third quarter was the difference. The Wesmen outscored the Vikes, 25-12 in the quarter.
Bench scoring was not an issue for either team-
The Wesmen had 28 points in the game scored by their bench and Vikes had 25 points from their bench. Wesmen’s second-year forward, Faith Hezekiah was sensational coming off the bench as she scored 23 points in 27 minutes. She also had nine rebounds in the win. On the other side, the Vikes were led by third-year guard, Kristy Gallagher who like Hezekiah also had a big night coming off the bench scoring 20 points along with three rebounds in the lost.
Potential Canada-West MVP, Antoinette Miller puts on a show-
The Canada-West scoring champion and fourth-year guard, Miller was very good in the Wesmen’s first postseason appearance in two years. Miller had a double-double with 17 points and ten rebounds in the win. Miller ended the regular season averaging 18.7 points a game and scored 373 points.