A frustrating, physical Carleton Ravens defence combined with ice cold shooting helped eliminate the uOttawa Gee-Gees from the OUA playoffs on Saturday night. The Ravens advance to the OUA East final with a 57-39 win at the Ravens’ Nest.
“It’s been a season of difficulties for sure. I know they’re disappointed because I know as a team, if we play well we can beat them. We just didn’t have anyone step up today,” said head coach Andy Sparks following the game.
An exciting, back-and-forth first quarter ended with the teams even at 11 at the buzzer, but gave way to an onslaught by the Ravens.
As the Gee-Gees began to make mistakes and miss shots, the Ravens took the opportunity to jump out in front. A 12-0 run to open the second kept the Gee-Gees scoreless for six minutes. They would manage just six points in the quarter as the Ravens stretched it to a lead of 29-17 by halftime; their largest was 13.
The Gee-Gees’ top scorer, Stephanie MacDonald, could not generate any offence in the first half. She missed all 13 shots she took, eight of them from beyond the arc.
The Ravens kept rolling when the second half began. They built their lead up to 19 as the Gee-Gees continued to miss the looks they could get. MacDonald got them on the board midway through the third with seven straight points. That seemed to spark her team. They chipped in six more to get the lead down to eight by the end of the third frame.
However, MacDonald, the leader of the comeback charge, was forced to sit down as the fourth quarter began as she was whistled for her fourth personal foul. The Gee-Gees would punch, but Carleton kept counter-punching as time slipped away and the lead could not be diminished to fewer than six points.
“When we got it close again and they made some really big plays and we needed to stop them but we just didn’t shoot well and didn’t lock down on defence enough,” said a dejected Maddie Stephen. She was was able to add four of the Gee-Gees’ 16 points in the paint as the Ravens did very well to take that part of the game away.
The Ravens bared down and put the nail in the coffin with an 11-1 run in the back half of the fourth.
“Steph started to pick it up in the second half but it was pretty tough,” said Sparks. “Where do you go to score? They did a really nice job of playing one-on-one on our posts. So there wasn’t really a lot of double-down stuff which meant the inside-out stuff wasn’t there either. We didn’t make a shot. 39 points isn’t going to win you many games. But that’s a credit to them. They took away what we can do right now with our personnel.”
Elizabeth Roach paced the Ravens with a game-high 17 points, while Natasha Plaskacz added 11 and Lindsay Shotbolt 10.
“That’s a young team over there as well. You hoped the veteran factor would come into play, but it didn’t. We got it back to six. But they made plays and we didn’t.”
Angela Tilk did what she could against a tough post defence. She scored 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a tough end to her five year career. As a team, the Gee-Gees shot a season-low 23 per cent from the floor, 11 per cent from three-point land, and were beat on the glass 44-32. Thirty-nine points is also the lowest total score of the season for uOttawa.
“Unfortunately it just wasn’t our day, but moving forward we have to work hard in the offseason to make sure this doesn't happen again next season,” added Stephen.
Box Score 1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Ottawa 11 6 15 7 39
Carleton 11 18 11 17 57