The Regina Cougars asserted themselves from the opening tip on Friday evening, en route to a decisive victory in Game 1 of their first-round Canada West women’s basketball playoff series against the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades.
Playing at UFV’s Envision Athletic Centre, the Cougars opened the game on a 10-0 run and didn’t look back, ultimately prevailing 74-56.
The Cascades will look to even the series in Game 2 on Saturday, which tips off at 6 p.m. at the EAC.
After falling behind by double digits early, the Cascades found some traction and cut the deficit to 14-9 after Nataliia Gavryliuk drained a three-pointer.
But that was the last trey UFV would hit (they finished 1-for-11 from beyond the arc), and it was also the closest they’d get to the Cougars for the balance of the evening.
Regina built a 21-13 lead at the end of the first quarter, and closed the second on a 9-0 run to go up 37-21 at the break.
The Cougars expanded the margin to 20 points in the third quarter, and while the Cascades mounted a rally and got back to within 13 points at 55-42, Regina finished the third quarter with a Christina McCusker layup and Kehlsie Crone trey to boost the lead back to 60-42.
Katie Brink scored a game-high 20 points for the Cascades, while Celeste Dyck chipped in with 11. Crone and Katie Polischuk paced the Cougars with 15 points apiece.
Regina hit 44.4 per cent of their shots from the field compared to just 28.6 per cent for the Cascades, and won the rebounding battle 49-34.