The University of Regina’s men’s basketball team completed a weekend sweep on Saturday night with an 82-69 victory over Trinity Western at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
One night after the Cougars registered their largest win in program history after taking out Trinity Western by a 111-65 score, it looked as though they might turn Saturday’s game into a blowout as well. They jumped out to a 13-point lead in the first quarter, but the two teams were even the rest of the way.
The Cougars led 35-27 at halftime and Trinity Western was able to make it a two-possession game on a few separate occasions in the second half, but Regina responded each time. The Spartans got to within five points four minutes into the third, but Carter Millar sparked a 9-0 run to get the lead right back up to 14 two minutes later. Trinity Western also threatened in the fourth, but twice the Cougars hit a big three immediately after the Spartans had cut the lead to six – one by Kameron Vales two minutes into the final period, and the other by Greishe Clerjuste with three minutes to go which put an end to an 8-0 TWU run.
“We knew tonight’s game was going to be a completely different animal,” Cougars head coach Steve Burrows said. “We expected (TWU) to be much better and they were. We got off to a good start and it was nice to see a couple of our guys hit some big shots down the stretch.”
As he’s done in each of Trinity Western’s first four conference games of the year, Vartan Tanielian (Surrey, B.C.) led the Spartans in scoring. He finished with 17 points, while Borja Soriano (Valencia, Spain) and Jack Nadelhoffer (Tigard, Ore.) both scored 16 points. Now 0-4 to start the Canada West schedule, Trinity Western will try to put one in the win column next weekend as the Spartans play host to Mount Royal (1-3).
Benjamin Hillis scored 14 points to lead the Cougars, while Clerjuste and Millar both ended up with 13. Samuel Hillis (pictured) had the game’s lone double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Vales finished with 10 points as five different U of R players hit double figures in scoring. Millar also finished with nine rebounds.
The Cougars (2-2) are back on the road next weekend for a pair of games against a Brandon team which will come in with a 1-3 record. Brandon started out the year with a home split against Manitoba, but lost two tight road games to UBC Okanagan this weekend.
The Spartans are back at home Nov. 9-10 when they will host Mount Royal at the Langley Events Centre
Spartans complete historic weekend sweep of No. 6 Regina
The Trinity Western Spartans scored the final 10 points of the game on Saturday night, pulling away from the No. 6-ranked Regina Cougars for a 56-47 victory at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
The Cougars went up by one thanks to an Angela Bongomin free throw with just over three minutes to go, but that turned out to be the U of R’s final point of the game. Trinity Western took the lead for good soon after on a Sarah Buckingham (Surrey, B.C.) bucket, and the Spartans followed that up with field goals on their next three possessions to take a stranglehold on the contest.
Trinity Western is now off to a 4-0 start, which marks the first time TWU has ever started a season with four straight wins. Prior to this year, the Spartans had never opened a Canada West campaign with more than two wins in a row. The win also completes an historic first-ever weekend sweep of the Cougars.
The Spartans were led offensively in Saturday’s win by Tessa Ratzlaff (Abbotsford, B.C.), who scored 17 points and also grabbed eight rebounds.
Buckingham finished with a double-double for TWU, scoring 14 points and collecting 11 rebounds while leading all players with 38 minutes played. First-year Nicole Fransson (Edmonton) scored eight points, four of which came on back-to-back buckets during Trinity Western’s pivotal run late in the fourth.
Macaela Crone (pictured) had her finest outing as a Cougar, finishing with a game-high 19 points and pulling down eight rebounds. Carolina Goncalves and Michaela Kleisinger both had eight points, while Christina McCusker had four points, tied Crone for the team lead with eight rebounds, and led all players with five blocks.
The Cougars drop to 2-2 on the season after suffering home losses on consecutive nights for just the fourth time since the program joined Canada West prior to the 2001-02 season. They’ll try to regroup on the road next weekend against a Brandon team that is coming off a road sweep over UBC Okanagan this weekend
“Tonight was a drawn out battle. We played very similar last weekend in the second game where we didn’t really find our tempo until the second half. It was nice to see the team fight through the adversity of our own mindset to rediscover our style of play. Going away from that doesn’t get us the looks or the energy required to beat a team like Regina. We had a much better rebounding effort and stuck together, which are both great signs of our ability to recover from a slow start while still playing defense until the shots start dropping. It was a great way to end a tough weekend and we look forward to getting some rest and then getting after it again this week.”