Kleisinger records first Canada West triple doubles in sweep
Plus, a basketball roundup for the holiday season
Michaela Kleisinger had an all-time accomplishment the weekend of Nov. 15, becoming the first in Canada West and program history to record a triple double (meaning she had double digits in three statistical categories: points, rebounds, and assists). To make her accomplishment even more impressive, she did it in back-to-back wins versus Winnipeg. The Cougars guard went on to be named.
“It was really an incredible feeling when I learned I was the first player to accomplish that feat. I have been watching Cougar games for many years and have seen many players (who in my opinion are better basketball players than I) break records and make history. For one week it was pretty crazy to be put in the same category as some of those amazing women. The wins do matter most to me, and it was a great weekend for our team to get some wins under our belt and feel what it is like to play ‘Cougar basketball’. Both triple doubles do not happen if my teammates don’t put the ball in the hoop, so I was obviously very grateful for their efforts all weekend. To be recognized nationally by USPORTS was really the cherry on top. I was not anticipating such high praise and it was truly an honour to be mentioned and compared to the top performers across Canada that week.”
The next games after the record weekend were in Saskatoon against the rival U of S, the top team in CanWest, and the team could not overcome their strong opponent, losing both games (74-45 and 73-59). Michaela detailed what went wrong – if it was the defense that gave them trouble, or if it was just a bad shooting night. I also asked what they learned from the defeat.
“The Huskies are definitely a strong team. I think through those games we learned a lot about how we can score and execute plays better against a good team like that. We played pretty solid defence through the entire weekend and stuck to the game plan in that respect for most of the time. Our offence struggled at times, but we know now how to execute better and play for the entire 40 minutes.
“They they are the number one team in the country so their defence definitely plays a role in the shooting percentage and the turnovers. I think lots of those stats have to do with our lower numbers right now. We have a few players injured so people are playing different positions than they are used to. This causes people to be shooting from different spots on the floor with different looks in the offence which could affect their shooting percentage. I also know that the lack of people puts people out of place and causes them to make different decisions. But in reality, those turnovers are much too high and the shooting percentage much too low. Both need to improve for us to win the important games!”
Finally, the Cougars play the University of Alberta at home this weekend, Michaela provided a short scouting report of the team ahead of the matchup.
“U of A is a very talented team who works extremely hard. They are the kind of team that plays gritty and tough no matter the time of game or the score. They have a talented post who puts up big rebounding numbers for them, and a guard who has been scoring the ball at an incredible clip recently. They are coached really well and have always been a top team in the conference so should be a good matchup and a good weekend of basketball.”