Women’s Basketball (5-4 OUA)
vs Toronto(7-3 OUA) on Friday, January 7, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. at Montpetit Hall. (SSN Canada)
Jenna Gilbert 18 points, 8 rebounds; Hannah Sunley-Paisley 17 points, 10 rebounds - uOttawa
Nicki Schutz 15 points, 13 rebounds - Toronto
It was a breath-taking finish for the Gee-Gees in their 57-56 triumph over the Varsity Blues. With ten seconds left on the clock and down by one point, the Gee-Gees had ball possession and time for one more play to decide their own fate in tonight’s hard fought win.
It was a shaky start to the new year for the Gee-Gees in the opening quarter against the Varsity Blues, as they fell five points behind after the frame and shot a shaky 18% from the floor and went 0/8 from behind the arc. But the second quarter saw the Gee-Gees step up to challenge the nationally ninth ranked Varsity Blues, helped by third-year centre Jenna Gilbert, Ottawa, Ont., sinking three solid shots from behind the arc in a row to end the half and bring the Gee-Gees within three points of Toronto.
Toronto took charge once again in the third, extending their lead to 41-33 with just over two minutes remaining in the third. The Gee-Gees starters took to the floor once again to catch up and trail only 43-39 heading into the final fifteen minutes.
The Gee-Gees found their defensive strength in the fourth quarter, stifling the Varsity Blues many attempts to the basket and holding them to only two in the opening four minutes. uOttawa came within one point at a 45-44 score with another Gilbert three-pointer and taking the lead on a pair of free throws from first-year guard Tatiana Hanlan, Gatineau, Qué., with six minutes remaining in the game.
The Varsity Blues jumped ahead once again though to a 55-49 lead. A three-pointer by second-year guard Sarah Nolette, Edmonton, Alta., in the final minute brought the Gee-Gees back in the picture. After a Toronto turnover, fourth-year centre Hannah Sunley-Paisley, Toronto, Ont., sunk the basket to put the Gee-Gees within one point.
Two missed free throws by Toronto gave the Gee-Gees the ball with just ten seconds remaining and only one point down. The play saw Sunley-Paisley taking a shot from behind the arc, and though not as the play was supposed to pan out and not her strength in shooting position, Sunley-Paisley’s shot was dead on – giving the Gee-Gees and their fans a high-energy win.
“That was fun,” said Sunley-Paisley of her final second heroics, “But if we had been doing what we should have been doing, we would have won by a lot more. Because when we were doing what coach was telling us to do, we were scoring. So really, if we had just listened to the coach from the start, I wouldn’t have had to hit that three, but it was fun anyway.”
“We got the win,” said head coach Andy Sparks after the game, “and for us, we’re playing against a team that’s ranked in the top ten in the country and that’s important, for us to start to make some statement games, to show that we can play with the better teams in the country.”
The Gee-Gees team all wore the initials “JD” marked on their arms tonight in memory of the sudden passing of the cousin of first-year guard Kim Cupid, Toronto, Ont.. Cupid’s family expressed a desire for her to still play in tonight’s match-up.
The Gee-Gees will continue in home court action tomorrow night, January 8, as they take on the Ryerson Rams at Montpetit Hall at 6:00 p.m. (SSN Canada)