(By University of Regina Sports Information)
REGINA – Making his first start in a Canada West game, Shaquille Harris responded in a big way with career highs in both points and rebounds to lift the University of Regina's men's basketball team to a 107-91 victory over Mount Royal on Saturday at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
Harris finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Cougars, helping them snap a three-game conference losing streak and improve to 8-4 with the victory.
The first half was about as tightly contested as they come, with the two teams trading leads a total of 13 times in the opening 20 minutes. The score was tied 20-20 after the first quarter and Regina took a 49-47 advantage into halftime.
The Cougars went on a quick 9-0 run in less than a minute in the third quarter, opening up a 10-point lead which was the first double-digit advantage for either team in the contest. The first six points of that run were scored on a single possession, with Brandon Tull converting three free throws – one of which was courtesy of an MRU technical foul by an assistant coach – and Shawn Lathan drilling a three-pointer just seconds later. Regina scored another seven consecutive points early in the fourth quarter to open up a second double-digit lead, and it was at least a three-possession game almost the entire way down the stretch.
Besides the breakout double-double by Harris, Regina also had double-digit performances from five other players. Alex Igual also had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Shawn Lathan scored 15 points despite only playing in the second half. Brian Ofori added 14 points – four of which came on thunderous dunks on back-to-back possessions late in the game – while Brandon Tull picked up 13 and Samuel Hillis scored 11.
The tandem of Josh Ross and John Hegwood accounted for just over half of Mount Royal's 91 points. Ross led all players with 26 points while also picking up eight rebounds and six assists, while Hegwood scored 20.
Mount Royal drops to 6-6 with the loss as the Cougars will now prepare for a pair of games away at a MacEwan team that will head into next weekend at 3-9.
Regina (8-4) will also head to Edmonton next weekend with the tough task of squaring off with the only 11-win team in the conference. Alberta (11-1) took out Calgary in a home-and-home series this weekend.