Women’s basketball (9-6 OUA)
Visited Carleton (13-2 OUA) for the 5th annual MBNA Capital Hoops Classic at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, ON on January 26, 2011, 6 p.m.
uOttawa: Jenna Gilbert 17 pts, 7 reb;Hannah Sunley-Paisley 11 pts, 10 reb; Sarah Nolette 12 pts, 2 steals
Carleton: Alyson Bush 13 pts, 9 reb, 3 steals
The fifth annual MBNA Capital Hoops Classic, Ottawa’s premiere basketball event, got underway as the unranked Gee-Gees women’s basketball team took on the No. 4 Carleton Ravens under the bright lights of Scotiabank Place. And fans would not be disappointed as this one would require double-overtime before a winner could be declared. In the end it was the Carleton Ravens who would prevail and take this year’s coveted Capital Hoops crown.
The first quarter would see the Ravens take an early lead as the Gee-Gees would battle some early game jitters. Fourth-year centre Hannah Sunley-Paisley, Toronto, Ont., would get into foul trouble early and would have to sit out for most of the first. With their leading scorer out, the Ravens would take advantage and pull ahead 16-10.
The Gee-Gees would come alive in the second to outscore Carleton 13-12, cutting the score to 28-23 at halftime. First-year guard Laura-Emilie Cyr, Montreal, Qué., made some excellent shots, and third-year forward Jenna Gilbert, Ottawa, Ont., was also great under the basket as both players would finish with 8 points at the half.
In the second half, the Gee-Gees would continue to chip away at Carleton’s lead as this game would come down to the final minutes of play. Unfortunately they would have to do it without their leading scorer Hannah Sunley-Paisley who would foul out with two minutes to play. First-year guard Sarah Nolette, Edmonton, Alb., would knock down two big back-to-back three pointers to put the Gee-Gees up 50-48 with 90 seconds to play. Still, the Ravens would respond on the following possession with two free throws, and the game would remain tied until the final buzzer.
In overtime, the Ravens would come on strong and score four unanswered baskets. Yet, the Gee-Gees would not go down without a fight. First it would be Sarah Nolette knocking down another timely three-pointer for her fourth of the game. Then it would be Jenna Gilbert who would make two huge three-pointers, one of which was from way downtown, to tie the game with 30 seconds to play in the first extra frame.
The second overtime would prove to be much of the same as the Ravens would jump out to an early lead. The Gee-Gees would come within three but that was as close as they would get. Carleton would maintain their lead to prevail by a final score of 71-63.
Following the game head coach Andy Sparks was disappointed his team could not pull out the win but credited his young team with a good effort. Still, Sparks did not want to dwell on the loss: “Credit to them, they are a very good basketball team and are ranked number four in the country but it’s not like we’re not there with them because we are there with them. But we just got to go back to the drawing board and work on a few things. We have a big game coming up on Friday against Queen’s so you got to refocus. This is a tough stretch with five games in eight days but we just got to tough it out now.”
Sparks admitted that having Hannah out for most of the game, especially in overtime, was a huge blow to the offence. The Gee-Gees were forced to play with four rookies on the floor for most of the two overtime periods.
Leading scorer for the Gee-Gees Jenna Gilbert, appearing in her first Capital Hoops Classic, expressed her team’s disappointment: “Obviously we’re extremely disappointed. I mean we had the chance three times to just finish the game but we just couldn’t get it done. So it’s extremely frustrating but we just got to move from here and learn from our mistakes,” said Jenna.
The Gee-Gees will be back in action this weekend as they host Queen’s on Friday and RMC on Saturday at Montpetit Hall in Ottawa. Tip off for both games are scheduled for 6 p.m.