Women’s basketball (1-1 playoff, 14-8 OUA)
vs. Ryerson (1-1 playoff, 10-12 OUA) Sunday, February 27, 3 :00 p.m. in OUA East division 3rd place game, hosted by the University of Toronto
Hannah Sunley-Paisley 19 points, 15 rebounds; Jenna Gilbert 18 points, 15 rebounds – uOttawa
Ashley Macdonald 15 points, 8 rebounds – Ryerson
After suffering a disappointing loss to the Ravens the night before, the Gee-Gees were eager to redeem themselves against the Ryerson Rams Sunday afternoon – and they did just that – coming out strong in the second half for a 67-56 win over the Rams in the third place match-up of the OUA East Final Four, hosted by the University of Toronto.
Fourth-year centre Hannah Sunley-Paisley, Toronto, Ont., and third-year centre Jenna Gilbert, Ottawa, Ont., each recorded double-doubles en route to their victory, with Sunley-Paisley finishing the game with 19 points, 15 rebounds, as well as four assists and four blocks, and Gilbert recording 18 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and two steals. Gilbert was named player of the game for the Gee-Gees.
“Jenna and Hannah were a good team together for us today,” said Gee-Gees head coach Andy Sparks, who was very proud of his team’s turn-around performance.
It was a low scoring opening quarter for both the Gee-Gees and the Rams as each team struggled to put the ball in the net. Both teams went on to shoot under 30% in the first quarter. The Gee-Gees came out aggressive on the boards, however, out-rebounding the Rams 13-8 and securing a two point lead by the end of the first ten minutes (10-8). Nearly half of the Gee-Gees’ rebounds came from Sunley-Paisley alone, who did an excellent job starting off strong in the post both on offence and defence.
First-year guard Emilie Cyr, Montréal Qué., opened up the scoring in the second quarter sinking the first three pointer of the game to make it 13-8 for the Gee-Gees. But the Rams, too, would soon start to capitalize on the outside shot to tie up the score and ultimately finish the first half with a one point lead (25-24).
uOttawa looked like a much different team at the start of the second half, as they went on to gain a quick four point lead. Gilbert was persistent on the offensive boards and continued to capitalize on key second chances to score some points for her team. The garnet and grey would go on to outscore the Rams 22-12 in the third heading into the final quarter.
Despite a good come-back effort by Ryerson, the Gee-Gees would not let the Rams become a threat, as they would go on to win it 67-56.
When asked about the significant turn-around after half-time, Sparks said that he let the girls talk it out themselves during halftime this time: “Normally it’s me who talks to them, but today I just asked them ‘what do you think?’ and I let them figure it out,” he explained.
“I told them they had a decision to make – they could decide they weren’t good enough to win, or, they could decide to fight through. And they fought back. I give them a lot of credit, they did an excellent job today.”
With the win, the Gee-Gees will travel to London, Ont., next Saturday, March 5, at 1:00 p.m. to face the No.3 ranked team in the country, the Western Mustangs (1-2 playoff, 10-12 OUA), in the OUA’s fifth place game. They will have to win this game in order to keep their hopes of earning a spot at the national championships alive.