The Gee-Gees women’s basketball team showed more of the defensive intensity which led to success in 2015-16 in its home exhibition game against Seton Hall University on Friday night. Trailing throughout the contest, Ottawa looked to make a run early in the fourth quarter but Seton Hall finished strong to take a 75-61 victory.
The contest wrapped up a six-game exhibition series for uOttawa against tough NCAA competition – three of the four teams which the Gee-Gees met were in the national tournament in 2016.
Danielle Marion made her first appearance of the exhibition season, logging 18 minutes. It was the Welland, Ont. native’s first game play since she was sidelined with ACL injuries in January of 2015. “I definitely had the adrenaline running. I wanted to get out there and work my hardest,” said Marion. “I’m really excited for the season to take advantage of playing again.”
The two difference makers in the game were the speed of Seton Hall’s guards off the dribble and the three-point shooting of Claire Lundberg. Lundberg went 4-7 from deep and buried all four in the second half at key moments. The guards burned Ottawa several times in the second quarter, growing the lead to 31-14. Ottawa closed out the first half on a positive note defensively, not allowing the Pirates a final shot before the break, but trailed 37-20 heading into the locker room.
Seton Hall shot 44 per cent from the floor and 5-for-7 from deep in the first half while Ottawa generated quality chances but saw just 21 per cent of its shot drop. Game totals were 42 percent for the Pirates and 30 per cent for Ottawa.
Ottawa leaned on Katherine Lemoine early in the fourth and the senior closed the gap to 10 with a pair of free throws with 7:30 to go. Anne Wagar then made a pair of key baskets in relief of Lemoine. Lundberg made a pair of three-pointers right after Ottawa had closed the gap to nine. Lemoine finished with 16 points while Wagar tallied 13. Seton Hall guard Jaquan Jackson netted 19 to lead all scorers.
“There are lots of positives with this group,” emphasized Gee-Gees head coach Andy Sparks, noting the defensive depth. “They buy in to what we’re trying to do and they have great heart. They’re going to develop a lot. It was a good August.”
The final score marked Ottawa’s highest point total in its six exhibition games against NCAA competition.