LONDON, Ont. – A double-double from McMaster senior Hailey Milligan and 21 points from graduating Windsor Lancer Miah-Marie Langlois helped Team West take a 97-90 victory in the 2014 OUA Women's Basketball All-Star Game, presented by Recharge with Milk, on Saturday night at Western University's Alumni Hall.
On the East side, Gee-Gee Stephanie MacDonald led all players with 23 points, along with 18 from Queen's Liz Boag (Kingston, Ont.). Carleton's Lindsay Shotbolt (Markham, Ont.) led all East rebounders with 11 boards on the night. MacDonald shot 3-5 from long range and also added eight rebounds.
Milligan, who was selected as the game's most valuable player, said that despite playing with players from across the OUA there was great chemistry on the court, especially once the game got going.
"We all know each other from playing against each other, we do a lot of scouting, so we know each others go-to moves and our strengths," said Milligan. "Once you get the feel of the game and once you get the rust off there's no stopping the train."
Both teams traded points in the early going before Team East began to build a small lead, thanks in part to strong three-point shooting as five different players connected from long range in the opening frame. However, the West closed the gap in the final minute of the quarter, cutting the East's lead to 27-25 after the opening 10 minutes.
The game continued to be a back and forth affair in the second, with each side trading points for the majority of the frame. The West began slowly chipping away at their opponents’ lead midway through the quarter, eventually taking a 44-43 lead into the half.
Somewhat fittingly for the game's third quarter it was three-pointers all around after the break with the two teams combining for five baskets from beyond the arc on 14 total attempts. Langlois led all players in the quarter, dropping 12 points on the East defence to help Team West take a 68-64 lead after 30 minutes.
That lead would be enough to secure the win, as the West outscored their opponents 29-26 in the final frame to emerge with a 97-90 victory.
Saturday night's showcase was only one part of the weekend's festivities as the OUA all-stars hosted youth basketball clinics on Saturday afternoon prior to tip-off. The players were on hand in gyms around London on Sunday to award medals to participants in the U15 Girls Ontario Cup tournaments.
"It's amazing," said Milligan on working with the younger players. "I'm a strong believer if you can see it – you can be it. Being able to show these young girls that there is potential for women's athletics, and women in basketball specifically, it's an amazing experience and I'm so happy to be a part of it."