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Pack stalking Cougars at TCC
There's no question the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack's basketball women are on the rise, but they need wins against top-tier competition to be considered among the country's elite.
TRU will have a chance to beat one of Canadian Interuniversity Sport's best on Friday, Nov. 23, when the Regina Cougars visit the Tournament Capital Centre. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
"This group recognizes they can play with anybody," WolfPack head coach Scott Reeves said of his charges.
"We beat Fraser Valley in the summer when they were up here and they are No. 2 in the country. It's just a matter of pulling it off in a [regular-season] game."
The WolfPack hung tight with the UBC Thunderbirds — the country's second-best team last season — in Vancouver earlier this month, but lost a pair of games by a combined total of six points.
Regina was the Canada West's best team throughout the 2011-2012 campaign, finishing 20-0 in the regular season, but it faltered in the post-season.
The T-Birds downed the Cougars in the Canada West final and Regina was relegated to the consolation bracket at nationals after a first-round loss to Calgary.
TRU, which qualified for the conference playoffs last season for the first time in program history, is off to a solid start at 4-2.
The Cougars, at 5-1, will not go undefeated this season, but look to again be among the Canada West's elite.
"[Regina head coach] Dave Taylor does a great job of recruiting," Reeves said of his bench-boss adversary.
"He's a good technical coach and he gets his kids to buy in that they can compete with anybody in the country. They have a little extra incentive this year that they're hosting nationals."
TRU's women are playing Brandon on Saturday, Nov. 24. Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m at the TCC.
The WolfPack's basketball men have the same opponents as TRU's women this weekend at TCC, with their games to follow the women's both nights.
Reeves called himself a "pretty simplistic coach" and said he won't be altering his team's game plan too much in preparation for the Cougars.
"It's just about execution and fine-tuning our defensive rotation to make sure we're not leaving people wide open and giving up easy baskets," he said.