The Bytown Battle went down to the wire as the uOttawa women’s basketball team fell 57-51 in a close matchup against the Carleton Ravens. The Gee-Gees played Carleton extremely tight but could not contain Carleton forward Catherine Traer who scored 20 points. Offensively the Gee-Gees did well to keep themselves in the game amidst uncharacteristically low point-production from some usual suspects. “I thought we competed, we had opportunities, we had some of our play makers with the ball and today unfortunately it didn’t happen on the offensive end,” explains head coach Sparks.
An electrified home crowd erupted as Katherine Lemoine opened the scoring for uOttawa. The Gee-Gees kept pace with the Ravens as the first quarter saw back and forth play. The Ravens anticipated Lemoine’s strength on the court, and she was double teamed on offence in several plays. “I thought the Lindsay-Lemoine matchup was excellent today. It is very rare in this country you get to see two bigs go at it like that. It was a positive for us,” said head coach Sparks.
The Gee-Gees scoring slowed early in the second quarter as the Ravens stretched their lead to seven points. Melina Wishart snuck in to steal from Carleton as they were about to begin their attack in uOttawa end, and found Besselink who fought for two points. In the second half, Besselink stepped up offensively and nearly matched Traer’s point production, finishing the game with 19 points.
The Gee-Gees left their heart on the court as they fought to close the gap several times in the second half. “We competed well enough to be in that game from a defensive perspective,” said Sparks. An extremely physical matchup between the Bytown teams produced twenty-nine total fouls called. uOttawa’s aggressive defence perhaps backfired as Carleton sunk seventeen of nineteen free-throws. In the final minute, Carleton secured the win via free-throw opportunities. Head coach Sparks breaks down the match, “they defensively took us out of our sets, physically they didn’t let us get to screens. We were slow making our reads which is on us.”
“This today is a starting point for us truly, because the last three of four games have been a little to easy for us. We got a good tough Carleton game, and hopefully we can learn from that,” continued Sparks.
The Gee-Gees lacked Julia Soriano’s experience at the point-guard position in tonight’s matchup. Brooklyn McAlear stepped up in Soriano’s place in the last couple games, head coach Sparks explains, “We have a very young point-guard in Brooklyn and she’s out there playing. She’s really a first year point guard, who only played a quarter last season for us. So she has to learn from these experiences as well.”
Carleton took outrebounded uOttawa by a small margin of 41-39. Following Besselink’s 19 to lead the team scoring was Brooklyn McAlear with nine points. Ottawa’s bench out produced Carleton’s 20-16.