The Gee-Gees women’s basketball team triumphed over Western in a tight 53-50 win Friday afternoon in London, Ont. The game was minute to minute as the teams exchanged eleven lead changes and seven ties. In the end uOttawa came out on top with the determination of Jennifer Crowe and Melina Wishart with 15 points each.
“It was key down the stretch that Melina Wishart and Jen Crowe both went to the hoop, got fouled, and made their free throw shots. They did a very good job, certainly good offensive production,” explains Ottawa head coach Andy Sparks.
An intense fourth quarter had Western tie the game twice and take a 50-49 lead. Wishart had the go-ahead bucket before Crowe brought it home for the Gee-Gees with eight seconds left by draining both of her free throw shots.
A daytime game had Alumni Hall packed with special elementary school guests from the London area, making for a great crowd atmosphere. Western hit first with a three-point shot early in the first quarter. The Gee-Gees responded offensively as they tied and quickly took the lead with help from buckets by Crowe and Kellie Forand. Minutes later, Crowe had possession in the key when she made a short pass to Ariane Lefebvre who drove in for two points off the glass. Brooklyn McAlear-Fanus displayed her speed as she stole the ball and went end to end for an easy layup. Wishart hit back to back buckets that gave the Gee-Gees a five point lead over halfway through the first quarter, finishing the quarter one point ahead.
Each time the Gee-Gees went for a scoring run the Mustangs were able to push back offensively to stay in the game. “They got good looks and opportunities and we didn’t finish great,” said Sparks. uOttawa had just one three-pointer fall and a 33.3 field goal percentage. Mustang Julia Curran had a big game with 23 points, supported by Meredith McLeod with 10.
Defensively, the Gee-Gees had nine steals and scored sixteen points off Western turnovers. Sparks commented, “I think we defended well. As long as we are keeping teams in that 50 point area we are going to be in every game and give ourselves a chance to win.” Although uOttawa’s defence was strong, they were out rebounded 36-29.
“We are progressing, we have different people stepping up every day and we are going to have to make sure some of those other players step up for us in order for us to be competitive. Hopefully if we get our offence going we will get a chance to beat some teams that are in the top end of the country,” concludes Sparks.