uOttawa top scorers: Jenna Gilbert 19 points; Hannah Sunley-Paisley 16 points, 11 rebounds; Bess Lennox 11 points, 10 rebounds
Calgary top scorers: Jessica Franz 19 points,6 rebounds; Jenna Kaye 17 points.
The University of Ottawa women’s basketball team captured the bronze medal at the CIS Final Eight, earning the school’s best ever finish at the national tournament. They led throughout the match but had to finish strong in order to overcome the confident and pesky hosts from Calgary by a final score of 79-73.
Ottawa’s front court trio of Jenna Gilbert, Hannah Sunley-Paisley and Bess Lennox had an excellent game with all three scoring in double digits in a physical defensive contest. Ottawa’s bench also chipped in with 22 points.
Ottawa led by as many as thirteen early in the fourth but Calgary kept coming, executing on their final few possessions to keep the pressure on the Gees. Clutch free throw shooting by Jenna Gilbert sealed the win, as she stepped to the line with 26 seconds remaining and sank her two opportunities, extending the Ottawa lead to 77-71.
Ottawa started the game in control, executing well on their offensive sets. Teddi Firmi hit a pair of mid-range shots, and Lennox and Gilbert were rolling into scoring position under the hoop. Calgary countered with outside shooting from senior guard Jenna Kaye. Both teams were shooting at an impressive clip in the early going with Ottawa sitting at 53 per cent accuracy, just above Calgary’s even 50 per cent.
Ottawa opened up a ten point lead in the second quarter thanks to the three-point shooting of Tatiana Hanlan and Jenna Gilbert, as well as strong offensive rebounding by the team. Calgary remained within striking distance by fighting their way to the free throw line and converting six of eight second quarter attempts.
Leading 43-38 after halftime, Ottawa went on a 7-0 run to open the third quarter but Calgary responded once again as Jenna Kaye seemed to will her Dinos to answer each time the Ottawa lead reached double digits. Sarah Nolette checked into the game and immediately sank a three pointer to extend the lead back to 9.
Ottawa opened the fourth with quick scores by Ring and Sunley-Paisley to take a 12 point lead, their largest lead since the second quarter. With four minutes remaining, Lennox spotted up in the corner and hit a key shot as Calgary was pressing, making the score 66-56. Calgary’s Tamara Jarrett made a tough basket while taking a hard foul and the Dinos were chipping away, finding her inside once again to make it 67-62.
Kellie Ring showed her poise and skill at the point throughout the game, controlling the tempo and dribbling out of trouble. She totalled thirteen assists on the day – a tournament high.
A pair of layups by Ring and a transition Sunley-Paisley conversion were the final field goals scored by Ottawa before the free throws which sealed the win.
View video of the Bronze Medal Game here.