Cinderella lives in Ottawa: Gee-Gees to CIS tournament
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL (2-0 Playoffs, 15-7 OUA, 22-10 OVERALL):
At Toronto (1-1 Playoffs, 17-5 OUA) for OUA East final (OUA semifinal) Wednesday, February 25 (6:00 p.m.)
uOttawa 28 68
Toronto 21 55
Kelly Weir – 14 points, three rebounds – uOttawa
Allison Forbes – 14 points, four rebounds - uOttawa
Nicki Schutz – 11 points, 13 rebounds - Toronto
Third-year guard Kelly Weir and fourth-year guard Allison Forbes each scored 14 points Wednesday as Gee-Gees women’s basketball went from nearly worst to first, leading from wire-to-wire in winning the OUA east with a 68-55 road victory over Toronto.
uOttawa will advance to Saturday’s OUA final at (Windsor), champions of the OUA West
“We’ve had some history against U of T, which makes it that much sweeter,” said Weir, who hit three-of-four three-point baskets as the Gee-Gees avenged an 0-2 regular season against the first-place Varsity Blues to end their season.
The Gee-Gees also won a fifth straight game and qualified for a third-ever berth to the CIS tournament regardless of Saturday’s result.
“I think we gave them a little bit of trouble with our changing defences,” said OUA East coach of the year Andy Sparks, who engineered a dramatic turn-around as first-year coach, inheriting a 3-19 team and leading it to a division championship in seven months on the job.
“They have over-done it.”
Forbes, a fourth-year transfer from Brock, celebrated her 23rd birthday.
“When I came here everyone was saying ’3-19 last season,’” said Forbes. “I said I just want to play some basketball.
“There maybe are teams who work as hard as us, but none that work harder than us.”
The Gee-Gees started the game on a 13-5 run after a three-point basket from third-year guard Melina Wishart, and led 17-9 after one quarter.
uOttawa stretched its advantage to 26-12 early in the second quarter after OUA all-star second-year guard Emilie Morasse, second-year post Courtney Berquist and Weir each hit three-point baskets.
uOttawa settled for a 28-21 lead at the half.
The first-place Varsity Blues outscored the Gee-Gees 16-12 in the third quarter, leaving uOttawa with a five-point cushion, 42-37.
Morasse, sporting a fat lip after the game, and company held OUA East player of the year Alaine Hutton to five points in 22 minutes.
“It’s all about trust,” said Morasse. ‘It’s easy to play defence like that.”
The Gee-Gees earned one OUA title, in 2003-04.
The CIS tournament is March 6-8 at the University of Regina.
The Gee-Gees qualified for back-to-back national tournaments in 2003-04 and 2004-05, going 3-3 over six games. uOttawa has not won a women’s basketball national championship.
Women’s basketball practice: Thursday 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.