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U Sports Final 8 National Championship Quarterfinal
#3 Winnipeg 81, #6 Laval 67

U Sports Final 8 National Championship Semifinal - Saturday
#3 Winnipeg vs #7 Queen's, 5:00 PM
Available on, CBC Sports App, CBC Gem App

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Wesmen start hot and hold on to win national quarter-final

DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics

KINGSTON, Ont. — The Winnipeg Wesmen got off on a running start and are cruising into the national semifinal because of it.

The Wesmen women's basketball team opened the game on a 19-4 run over the first five minutes and held on to beat the Laval Rouge et Or in a quarter-final Thursday night at Queen's University. 

The win puts the Wesmen into the national semifinal Saturday at 5 p.m. against the host Queen's Gaels, who upset No. 2-seeded Saskatchewan in the late game. 

The Wesmen were up 30-7 just 8:07 into the game and stretched the lead to as many as 30 in the third quarter. 

Laval, however, put forth a significant run of its own after finding itself down as many as 27 in the fourth. The Wesmen were held to one field goal over a span of 4:10 as the Rouge et Or trimmed the lead down to 11. Faith Hezekiah, however, hit a big three to push the lead back to 14 at 81-67 and Laval went the final 1:26 without a score. 

Kyanna Giles had 22 points, five rebounds and three assists, and was named player of the game for the Wesmen. U Sports player of the year Keylyn Filewich had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Hezekiah had 18 points.

"(The start) gave us a boost to get going," Giles said. "Starting off well gives us the motivation to keep going, so having a good start is great for us. And, as you can see, it was 11-2 (run) and our motor was going."

Laval got 18 points from Sabrine Khelifi and 12 from Lea Dominique. 

"We kinda took a step back and we didn't play as aggressive and assertive as we did in the first quarter," head coach Tanya McKay said. "But, I gotta give the kids credit: In the first quarter we came out and we just took it at them. I don't want to be too mad at them, but at the same time we want to recognize we gotta play 40 minutes. We're going to go up against a great team (Saturday) in the semifinals and we gotta be ready for that."

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