Women’s basketball (19-3 OUA, 3-0 playoffs)
Hosted Windsor (20-2 OUA, 2-1 playoffs) in OUA Gold medal match on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 8 p.m., at Montpetit Hall (SSN Canada, Rogers 22 tape delay)
uOttawa leading scorers: Jenna Gilbert 14 points, 9 rebounds, Kellie Ring 14 points, 2 rebounds
Windsor leading scorers: Jessica Clemencon 11 points, 5 blocks, Iva Peklova 9 points, 4 rebounds
For the third time in four years, uOttawa and Windsor’s women’s basketball teams met in the OUA championship game, with the provincial title on the line. In the 2009 championship game, Windsor won 68-51, while in 2010, the Gee-Gees were soundly defeated on home court, 83-55. On March 3, it was time for the Gee-Gees to return the favour, as Ottawa won their first OUA women’s basketball title since the 2003–04 season. And the Gee-Gees won in an unexpected 89-40 blowout as uOttawa dominated their rivals in every facet of the game. Ottawa was ranked sixth in the CIS coming into the game, while Windsor was ranked second. Windsor, the defending CIS champions, will have one last chance to qualify for the CIS Final 8, via the CIS regionals.
“We’ve had a couple of good starts like that this year. But I think this is the first time we’ve maintained what we started. We played 40 minutes of solid basketball with everybody contributing, and there was no one player that was the dominant player,” said Gee-Gees head coach Andy Sparks. “It was definitely a team contribution. It’s what we’ve been looking for.”
Rookie point guard Kellie Ring (Ottawa, Ont.) helped the Gee-Gees get off to a quick start as she scored on Ottawa’s first two offensive possessions. After fifth-year centre Hannah Sunley-Paisley (Toronto, Ont.) scored to stretch the lead to 6-0, Windsor was forced to take a timeout, less than three minutes into the match. But the Gee-Gees’ run did not stop there as fourth-year forward Jenna Gilbert (Ottawa, Ont.) and fifth-year forward Bess Lennox (Ottawa, Ont.) hit back-to-back treys to stretch the lead to 12-0. After Windsor finally responded with a three-point play, Gilbert scored five more points, including another three-pointer. The six-foot-tall forward hit three treys in the first quarter alone, as Ottawa took a 28-12 lead after one.
Ottawa’s dominant start continued into the second quarter, as the Gee-Gees stretched the lead to 23 points midway through the frame. With Sunley-Paisley on the bench, Lennox and fifth-year guard Teddi Firmi (Kitchener, Ont.) led the way for the Garnet and Grey on offence. The two crafty veterans made a big difference on the defensive end as well, and Windsor struggled to get good shot attempts. At halftime, the Gee-Gees held a commanding 46-16 lead, and limited Windsor to 15 per cent shooting from the field.
The Gee-Gees did not let up after the intermission, as Ottawa scored the first eight points of the third quarter, ending any hopes of a Windsor comeback. Another Gee-Gee three-pointer, this time by second-year guard Laura-Émilie Cyr (Montreal, Qué), increased Ottawa’s cushion to 42 points, late in the quarter.
uOttawa put the final touches on an OUA gold medal victory in the fourth quarter, with Ring providing a bulk of the offence. With the final result no longer in doubt, the Gee-Gees inserted some of their younger players into the game, and they performed just as well as their more experienced teammates. Fans at Montpetit Hall began to celebrate; the Gee-Gees had won their first championship banner of the 2011–12 varsity season.
“Going into Calgary, it’s so good to know that my team can dominate with me on the bench. It was awesome to watch. To beat the reigning national champions like that, it makes me feel like we can go all the way,” said Sunley-Paisley. “It’s an awesome way to go out. The only thing better than this would be to win nationals.”
The game will be available on Rogers Cable 22 tape delay, starting at 9 p.m. tomorrow night. Ottawa will now play host to the CIS East regionals, next weekend.
Brock pulls off upset in OUA bronze medal game
Brock (15-7 OUA, 2-1 playoffs) vs. Carleton (17-5 OUA, 1-2 playoffs) in OUA Bronze medal game on Saturday, March 3 at 6 p.m. at Montpetit Hall (SSN Canada, Rogers 22 tape delay)
Brock leading scorers: Samantha deJong 12 points, 9 rebounds, Nicole Rosenkranz 10 points, 13 rebounds
Carleton leading scorers: Alyson Bush 19 points, 5 rebounds, Ashleigh Cleary 15 points, 8 rebounds
More than just pride was at stake at the OUA women’s basketball bronze medal game, as the Brock Badgers and the Carleton Ravens battled for a guaranteed spot into the CIS regionals round. A back-and-forth match ensued, with the Badgers leading by just one point heading into the final quarter of play. And in the end, Brock managed to win in a 58-51 overtime upset.
The game got off to a slow start as both teams struggled to get into a rhythm on offence. With neither team shooting well, the Ravens relied on their free throw shooting to take an early 4-0 lead in the game. The Badgers were the first team to wake up on the offensive end, as good ball movement and a solid transition game gave Brock an 18-10 lead after the first quarter. Brock forwards Andrea Polischuk (Brantford, Ont.) and Nicole Rosenkranz (Niagara Falls, Ont.) contributed with multiple baskets in the paint.
But the nationally fifth-ranked Ravens squad didn’t back down, as they started the second quarter on a 11-4 run to cut the deficit to just one point by the five minute mark of the frame. Carleton forward Ashleigh Cleary (Kemptville, Ont.) led the Ravens’ charge with 10 points in the first half, but the Badgers still had a four-point lead at the intermission. Brock shot 39 per cent in the first 20 minutes of play, while the Ravens countered with 29 per cent shooting from the field.
Just a few minutes into the third quarter, Carleton guard Alyson Bush (Ottawa, Ont.) suddenly caught fire, as she scored eight straight points by herself to give the Ravens their first lead since early in the first quarter. A late basket and a free throw by Brock guard Kayla Santilli (Brantford, Ont.) meant that the Badgers would have a slim 43-42 lead at the end of three quarters.
The defensive struggle continued into the fourth quarter, as the two teams were tied at 46 with just over four minutes left in the game. With less than a minute to go, Carleton forward Genavieve Melatti (Brampton, Ont.) split her free throw attempts, giving the Ravens a 50-48 advantage. With her team on the brink of defeat, Brock guard Emily McKay (Toronto, Ont.) drove to the hoop for a crucial lay-up, forcing overtime. And in the extra session, McKay hit another big lay-up, to put the Badgers ahead for good. Brock’s Samantha deJong was named the player of the match after leading her team with 12 points and nine boards.
The game will be available on Rogers Cable 22 tape delay, starting at approximately 10:30 p.m. tomorrow night.