Although it was a balanced scoring attack, Ottawa’s players in the middle led the way in a 68-44 win for the women’s basketball team. Jenna Gilbert and Maddie Stephen were a one-two punch which the Lions were unable to contain as the Gee-Gees rolled to their fifth straight regular season win.
The Gee-Gees’ bigs were particularly effective in the first half. Gilbert and Stephen were running the floor for transition layups and dominating the paint, helping to establish a 40-21 halftime lead. Gilbert would finish the night with 17 points and nine rebounds while Stephen tallied her sixth double-double of the season with 11 and 11 in front of her hometown Toronto crowd.
Strong Ottawa defence held York to outside shots and long possessions, resulting in an 11-3 Ottawa run over the opening six minutes of the second quarter. York was held to 24 per cent shooting from the floor over the course of the game. York cut the Ottawa lead down to twelve with two minutes remaining in the third quarter. Lions’ leading scorer Cyrielle Recoura caught fire to lead the run as the Gee-Gees struggled with sloppy playmaking on their own offensive end.
Stephen acknowledged the team felt their intensity drop in the third period, “It’s frustrating. We were in a bad rhythm and we lost our focus.” However she noted that the team is seeing improvements as they begin the new year. “Our help was there a lot more – we just needed to be more athletic. Our offence is flowing better and we’re more comfortable.”
York’s speed challenged Ottawa early in the fourth quarter, but the Lions were unable to crack Ottawa’s double-digit cushion. Back to back triples from Traer and Gilbert extended the lead back to twenty two points with three minutes left to play.
With the win, the Gee-Gees move into a tie for first in the OUA East now travel to Sudbury for Saturday’s game at Laurentian, who defeated Carleton on Friday night.
1 2 3 4 F
Ottawa 25 15 10 18 68
York 13 8 15 8 44