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Gee-Gees Roll Over Lakers on Senior Night

Friday February 20, 2015
Jen Stoqua in action.
Richard Whittaker

The uOttawa Gee-Gees had little trouble disposing of the winless Nipissing Lakers, improving their own record to 13-5 with one game left on the schedule. Graduating senior Jen Stoqua did what she’s done all season and started firing it from beyond the arc early on. By the midway point of the second quarter she was already 6-for-8 from three. She continued to get open and hit shots, bettering her previous single game career-high of six. She broke the team record of seven threes early in the second half and finished with 10, the most in a single CIS game this season. 

 “I had no idea it was a record to break - it feels great,” said Stoqua. “You always try and play to the best of your ability every game. When you’re hot you just keep shooting.”

With a 92-13 result in their previous meeting, many were expecting more of the same this time with the Gee-Gees possessing the conference’s second-ranked defence. Thirteen was the winless Lakers’ season-low point total to date but they have seen improvement as the season has gone on. Coming in, they had scored at least 40 points in five of their previous eight outings.

The Gee-Gees used the opportunity of playing a program in its infancy to really sharpen crucial aspects of their game. The Gee-Gees did well to share the ball and the scoring. All but one player had at least one assist on the night for a total of 28. Stoqua was the top scorer with 30 points, fellow senior Stephanie MacDonald added 19, while Kellie Ring came back off injury to contribute 10. Isabelle Dion was great on the glass, recording 12 rebounds.

 “You’ve got to bring the energy from within,” added Stoqua about the slow tempo of the game. “We typically get it from our defence. So when we bring it back to half court defence, it’s about executing our plays just not giving up defensively at all.”

 “Hopefully this can lead into a good run for us in the playoffs,” said Sparks. “So overall it was a real good night. Yeah, there were a fair number of things that broke down on us. We were a little passive, I thought, against a team we really could have been more aggressive on. At the same time, we really wanted to focus on the defensive end of the floor this weekend because we know it’s going to be what’s required in order to make a push here.”

Following the final buzzer, Sparks took the mic to honour his team’s two graduating seniors, Stoqua and MacDonald.

 “It’s special to have them. When you can get graduating students into your program like that it’s great,” said Sparks. “We have a history with those two girls. It’s the end of all the high school players I coached along the way, so we’ll miss them. It’s been a great year.”

With one regular season game remaining, Stoqua has amassed 169 points with the Gee-Gees and tied for the fourth most three-pointers in the country with 49 in 414 minutes on the court and 16 starts. MacDonald has lead the Gee-Gees in scoring in both of her two seasons with the Gee-Gees putting up a total of 537 regular season points, an average of 15 per game. Deceptively quick, she also recorded 86 steals with uOttawa.

 “My time here has been fantastic,” reflected Stoqua. “I told Coach Sparks back in 2009 that if we was coaching at any other school that I’d be there. I didn’t like uOttawa at the time but that changed and it’s been nothing but greatness here.”