Women’s basketball (9-2 OUA)
Visited Toronto (7-4 OUA) on Friday, January 13, 2012
uOttawa top scorers: Bess Lennox 16 points, 12 rebounds; Hannah Sunley-Paisley 14 points, 6 rebound; Kellie Ring 9 points, 6 assists
Ottawa pulled away after a closely contested first half to defeat the Toronto Varsity Blues by a final score of 69-56 Friday night in Toronto. The win puts some distance between the first-place Gee-Gees and the second and third-placed teams in the division, Carleton and Toronto, as Carleton lost to Ryerson on Friday.
The teams were evenly matched in the early going and both squads were shooting well, especially from deep. Ottawa was able to establish a transition offense late in the first quarter. Getting points off Toronto turnovers and creating good penetration opportunities, the Gee-Gees held a 19-13 advantage after the first quarter.
Toronto got to the line frequently in the second quarter, while Ottawa struggled to hold on to the ball on the offensive end. The physical Sherri Pierce put the Varsity Blues ahead from the free-throw stripe midway through the quarter, and the Toronto defense forced the Gee-Gees to operate on the perimeter for much of the second. Bess Lennox (Ottawa, Ont.) carried the Gee-Gees on offense in the frame; she had 12 points in the first half. “Their guards hurt us in the first half, but we made the adjustment and did a better job on them in the second half,” noted Gee-Gees bench boss Andy Sparks. “It was a little streaky, but we had a very good second half and a lot of positives.”
Ottawa seemed to come out of the locker room with renewed focus and energy. The starting five quickly put the Gee-Gees back in the lead by starting the third quarter with quick, crisp passing and good movement on offense. The Gee-Gees also played much cleaner defense in the second half as the Blues only got to the line twice after drawing 16 free throws in the first half.
The Gee-Gees used a balanced scoring attack to build and maintain their lead; Lennox led all players with 16, Hannah Sunley-Paisley (Toronto, Ont.) finished with 14 points, and Kellie Ring (Ottawa, Ont.), Teddi Firmi-Kuehn (Kitchener, Ont.), and Tatiana Hanlan (Gatineau, Qué.) each scored nine points.