author: nathan mccarville | sports writer
Cougars still the team to beat, anxious to start
The University of Regina hosted the Cougar Classic this past week, the event coming to a close on October 15, and it was a successful one for the hometown squad. With this victory, the home team, the Cougars women’s basketball team, cleaned house during the event and won out in a 3-0 record in the classic. This dominance that the Cougars have shown on the court has further exemplified a trend in the women’s basketball team’s current preseason as they prolong their win streak to 8, the women’s basketball team also has a current pre-season record of 9 wins and 1 loss. The Cougars now only have a couple games remaining until the regular season is set to begin for them. In the time before the regular season is to begin, the Cougars are scheduled to play the University of Victoria Vikes and the Minot State University Beavers, a NCAA Division II team.
I was able to talk to one of the players of the Cougars basketball team, Christina McCusker, who has played for the Cougars women’s basketball team for the past four seasons.
In regard to the impeccable preseason record, McCusker mentions, “We are really happy with how the preseason is going so far and we are just hoping to keep that going heading into regular season in the next couple weeks here.”
During the Cougar classic, the Cougars were able to win every game they played, achieving scores of 79-46 against the Windsor Lancers, 74-73 against the Saskatchewan Huskies, and 107-55 in the Cougars’ final game against the Brandon Bobcats. During the game against the Huskies, there was a point where the Cougars were down by 16 sduring the second period, but the team was able to pull through with a close victory over their rivals.
“I thought we played well at the Cougar Classic. We had some rough patches against Saskatchewan that we would like to clean up a little bit, but we’re pretty happy to still be able to come back from being down 16 at one point and pull out the win. Saskatchewan is always a challenge for us being provincial rivals and all and we always have close games against them.”
During this preseason, the Cougars have also been preparing themselves to play against the Minot State University Beavers. The Beavers compete at the intermediate level in the NCAA, sitting at Division II of the athletic organizational structure.
Concerning this upcoming game to be played on October 28 at the University of Regina in the Center for Kinesiology, McCusker says, “We played Minot State a couple of years ago in Minot so it will be interesting to see how we match up against them at home with Canadian rules. It will be another game and opportunity for us to work on some things before the regular season starts.”
The Cougars also played in the Calgary Cup that ran from October 5 – 7 where they played the Acadia University Axewomen, the University of Waterloo Warriors, as well as the University of Calgary Dinos. The Cougars were able to win every game by a margin of 17 points, taking home the preseason tournament victory along with the Classic scheduled only five days later.
Of the 10 games that the Cougars have played so far, they have won 9, losing only the second game of the preseason against McGill University Martlets (those gosh darn Marlets), the Cougars finishing their first away game with a score of 71-85.
Other than the early season loss, the Cougars preseason has been absent of a loss for the past 8 games. In regards to how the team feels about the accomplishment of the women’s basketball team, McCusker said.
“Obviously we are happy to go into the season with a good record but we know we have a lot of work to do still. We lost to McGill right at the start and they are a team we know we will be seeing in March at the national championships so we know we have to keep building and taking one weekend at a time. It was great to get to see some of the other teams outside of Canada west in the preseason and see how we match up against them to give us an idea about them come march so we are very happy with some big wins we had this preseason as well.”