The uOttawa Gee-Gees women’s basketball came out with a huge 66-56 win tonight against the no. 8 ranked Ryerson Rams. The Gee-Gee defense had been strong all year and was effective tonight against Ryerson post-centred offense. It was a tug of war for three quarters as the lead for either team did not creep above five points. In the fourth quarter, uOttawa made an offensive push that widened the gap out of Ryerson’s reach.
Sarah Besselink led in scoring with eighteen-points and seven rebounds supported by Danielle Marion’s fourteen-points and six boards.
Ottawa head coach Sparks weighs in, “it was probably our best game, in its entirety.”
In the opening minutes uOttawa made it clear they would not be out-worked when on defense as they drained Ryerson’s first shot clock. uOttawa did double duty on defense all game to contain Ryerson post play. The garnet and grey successfully limited Ryerson’s offensive power-house Paska to four points in the first quarter.
On offense uOttawa used their speed as their main asset against the Rams. At the half Danielle Marion dominated in the paint with ten-points. Gee-Gees offensive chemistry was electric as in several plays veteran players created scoring opportunities with smart passing sequences. Wishart drove to the hoop and showed great vision to find Besselink open to her right who drained a long jump shot.
After a shaky start to the third quarter, Wishart lifted her team up off their feet as she made a layup through contact that sent her crashing to the floor. Besselink, uOttawa’s unofficial finisher, got her offense going hitting three-point shots both to end the third and start the fourth quarters.
Sparks on the Gee-Gees offensive performance in the fourth quarter, “we had a nice push in the last quarter to create some room and that I think was really key.” Specifically, uOttawa gave themselves an eleven-point cushion at four minutes left in the game.
uOttawa’s small ball strategy used in latter half of the season in the defensive end looked like well-oiled machine tonight. An integral part of that machine tonight was Danielle Marion as she was elementary in tonight’s win. Sparks explains, “she was so active today. She is quite unique to counter the opposing teams bigs. She ran a lot of good pick and roll stuff, she got to the boards for us. She did a really nice job defensively being active on their posts.”
“It was nice to see some of our kids step up tonight. Now we are going to the playoffs,” concludes Sparks.
Coach Sparks also gave praise to Julia Dostaler, who followed Besselink and Marion in scoring with 10 points. uOttawa’s bench point production came in at twenty-one points. uOttawa shot 88.9 percent from the free-throw line compared to Ryerson’s 66.7 percent. uOttawa field goal attempts were more effectively than Ryerson with 42.6 and 33.3 percent, respectively. Ryerson outrebounded uOttawa 42-33. There was a total of five lead changes in tonight’s tight matchup.
uOttawa finished its regular season on that coveted high note, going 2-0 this weekend to finish at 13-6 in regular season play. The team now enters playoff season where they will play at home on Wednesday for the first round. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.