The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees tipped-off versus the Western University Mustangs on Friday night in a contest that went down to the wire. In their first game of the season the garnet the garnet and grey were not able to come out on top as they took the 72-74 loss.
The Gee-Gees showed signs of rust in the first half as they had difficulty capitalizing in transition and failed to produce buckets from beyond the three point line. Many turnovers were seen in the game as the ball was constantly intercepted by both teams throughout the first half. However, Western was able to apply good pressure to Ottawa shooters and as a result took lead heading into half time.
Ottawa caught fire early in the second half but it was not enough as the Mustangs were able to draw fouls throughout the rest of the game. The Mustangs took the lead in the third quarter and where able to hold on to the lead as the Gee-Gees did not count important baskets down the stretch, shooting only 18% from the three point line.
‘‘Obviously we need to be better, we can’t have our veteran players making rookie mistakes,’’ said head coach Andy Sparks after the game. ‘‘We will move on from tonight and focus on tomorrow’s game which will be a very good test for this team. ’’
The bright part of the night for Ottawa was the play of Maddie Stephen who led all Gee-Gees in scoring with 20 points while shooting 7 for 8 and tallying 10 rebounds. The second year center spent a significant part of the off-season working on her game which was evident through her performance in tonight’s game.
A stellar performance from Mustang Jenny Vaughan was also a decisive factor as she contributed 28 points. On the other hand the Gee-Gees displayed difficulty shutting down the veteran guard on the defensive end. Western’s leading scorer Melissa Rondinelli left the game in third quarter with what appeared to be a shoulder injury as she slowly walked of the court.
The Gee-Gees will be back in action tomorrow night as they travel to Windsor to take on the top ranked Lancers. The game is set for 6 p.m. and will be streamed live on ssncanada.ca.