They had opportunities late in the fourth to draw even, but the Gee-Gees couldn’t keep a confident Laurier Golden Hawk team at bay and were handed their second loss of the season on Saturday night, 74-68.
uOttawa went 0-for-8 from beyond the arc in the first half and shot 43 per cent. On the other end, the Golden Hawks hit 50 per cent of their looks to carry a seven point lead into the break.
“We were kind of getting away from our team defence. Not helping each other out,” said Ottawa guard Stephanie MacDonald following the game. “Our shots weren’t coming from our offence, we were just kind of going off the dribble instead of getting it into our posts, double down, getting it back out for threes. They just weren’t the looks we normally get out of our offence we were forcing it. That’s why I think they weren’t going in.”
The Gee-Gees, the OUA’s second-best team in rebounding differential, lost the rebounding battle for the first time in several games, 22-16 in the first half and 44-41 overall.
A 13-1 Laurier run in the front half of the third quarter gave the Golden Hawks a decent lead. Laura Doyle couldn’t drain anything in the first half but found her touch in the third quarter. She put up 12 points in the frame to help stretch the Hawks lead to as many as 15.
“Our defensive transition in that third quarter when they opened up the lead to 15 was a massive breakdown,” said Gee-Gees head coach Andy Sparks. “Maybe we were feeling stressed thinking ‘we need to get back in this’ so we did silly things in the front court and it was causing us problems in the back court. The finishing was definitely a problem.”
As Laurier continued to hit shots from outside, the Gee-Gees countered by continuing to pound with their inside game, getting the ball into the post to Angela Tilk and Maddie Stephen. It seemed to open up the perimeter game enough and they started hitting shots.
Laurier missed four shots in a row over the final two minutes of the quarter to open the door further for an Ottawa comeback. The lead was cut to seven early in the fourth and got it down to six through three minutes.
The Gee-Gees got within three for the first time since the opening quarter with 1:19 to go but Bree Chaput immediately responded with a three-pointer to make it a two possession game again. MacDonald took it in for a layup to cut the lead back down to five with 11.8 seconds to go but the Gee-Gees couldn’t manage to get any closer.
“That’s where we’ve been lately with the inside game, there’s potential to clean that stuff up,” added Sparks. “You can’t let a team like that get up that much. There’s a lot of fourth year players on that team so when they got up on us, the confidence just started to flow from them. They were feeding off each other and the threes got pretty easy. We’re a young group and so that showed. We had opportunities down the stretch.”
The Gee-Gees will look for redemption next Friday when they take on the Carleton Ravens in the Ravens’ nest, the final game of 2013.
1 2 3 4 F
Ottawa 17 11 22 17 67
Laurier 21 14 24 15 74