Women’s Basketball (15-3 OUA)
At Carleton (13-5 OUA) on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
uOttawa – Hannah Sunley-Paisley 26 points, 6 rebounds; Bess Lennox 11 points, 15 rebounds
Carleton – Krista Van Slingerland 24 points, 2 rebounds; Alyson Bush 15 points, 3 rebounds
It would appear the curse of only beating Carleton once a regular season has continued for the Gee-Gees, as they fell 71-63 in overtime to the rival Ravens in this second match-up of the season.
The Gee-Gees struggled in the first quarter, leaving Carleton with many open lanes to the basket and open looks from behind the three point line. The Gee-Gees were down 13 points and would spend the next three quarters playing catch-up. The Gee-Gees went on a 12 point run in the second quarter, instigated by a Bess Lennox (Ottawa, Ont.) three point shot, but ground to a near halt after this run to remain down by nine at half.
Rookie forward Ariane Lachance-Scantland (Gatineau, Qué.) gave the Gee-Gees their first lead of the game as the clock wound down on the third, but Carleton was quick to respond with a three of their own to regain the lead after 30 minutes. After battling through a tight fourth quarter, the Gee-Gees had a little luck on their side to end regulation tied with the home court Ravens, as an untimely foul gave the Ravens two free throw attempts which they uncharacteristically missed. Rookie point guard Kellie Ring (Ottawa, Ont.) would then drive to the basket for a lay-up to tie the game, while luck intervened for the Gee-Gees a second time as a buzzer-beater Ravens shot would take a few bounces off the rim, keeping this game tied for overtime.
In overtime, the Gee-Gees collapsed in the clutch; missing key shots, making turnovers and shooting only 50% from the free throw line. And with that, the Ravens ended a 15 game uOttawa winning streak.
Head coach Andy Sparks had no trouble identifying what the Gee-Gees lacked in tonight’s loss, “Tight game experience. We did a nice job getting to overtime; but when we got into overtime, our key players got looks and didn’t make them and we missed on the foul line.”
“For us, this is a good game and we have to move forward from this,” said Sparks, “And I think we will. It would’ve been nice to win because you don’t learn anymore by losing than by winning, but in general people would say that was a good game, a good competitive game.”
While a disappointing game for the team, it was a bittersweet night for Lennox who achieved what few athletes do in a career. The fifth-year forward entered the game only five rebounds shy of setting the OUA most rebounds in a career record. And after tying the record in the first half, Lennox firmly planted her name in the record books with two early rebounds to open the third. Lennox’s leadership was key in the Gee-Gees effort tonight, and she would contribute 11 points and 15 rebounds in the loss.
Lennox was quick to turn the credit away from herself though, “I have played on great teams, this year and while I was at Western. It’s not about one person; it’s a whole team effort that allows someone to achieve something like that. It’s been a fantastic [five years].”
A proud Sparks after the game seemed to have run dry on words to voice his praise for Lennox, though summing up many people’s sentiments well, “She’s top notch.”
The Gee-Gees will travel to Kingston next weekend to face Queen’s on Friday, February 10 at 6:00 p.m. and RMC on Saturday, February 11 at 2:00 p.m.