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Gee-Gees roll over Lions in OUA East Quarter-final

Wednesday February 19, 2014
Richard A. Whittaker

Third-year guard Francesca Bellehumeur-Moya flew out of the gate and drained the first eight points of the game and the Gee-Gees never looked back. Ottawa advances to the OUA East semifinals after a 70-46 drubbing of the York Lions. Seemingly able to strike from anywhere on the court, Bellehumeur-Moya amassed a career-high 23 points to lead the charge.  

“Last time we played them they beat us. So we had a really tough week of practice and this was the result,” she said. “I was just feeling it tonight. All week, that was our focus: making our shots. That quick start really brought up the energy, I think, and it just feels awesome to win this one.”

York committed four turnovers in the first three minutes while uOttawa lit them up for an early 20-0 lead, undoubtedly their best start to a game this season. York’s first basket came more than five minutes into the game.

When the Lions were able to actually settle in to run their offence, the Gee-Gees didn’t allow any second chance points, surrendering only seven offensive rebounds in the opening half.

On top of that, York continued to hand the ball back to the Gee-Gees, racking up 15 turnovers in the half, watching any hope of a comeback slip further from their grasp. The chances they created on offence led to limited success, converting three of 22 attempts from the floor. 

The Gee-Gees found themselves open for shots and, for the most part, without the pressure of closing defenders. They calmly shot 40 per cent from the floor and a sparkling 54 per cent from beyond the arc. Their shooting fell out of consistency in the second half, but were allowed so many attempts, 74, it didn’t matter.

Eight of York’s points first half came from the free throw line. Any hope of penetrate the crowded paint for points was fruitless against the taller Gee-Gees defenders. But Ottawa gave the Lions 10 trips to the free throw line, accounting for 15 of their 46 points.

Kayla Pangos did what she could for the Lions in the final game of her career. She led them with 11 points, while Llyandra Kerr and Courtney Osborne contributed 10 each. Danielle Marion turned in an excellent performance for the Gee-Gees, going 4-for-7 for 13 points and collecting 12 rebounds. 

 “We probably should have stayed a little more aggressive in the fourth, I think we backed off a little bit but that pressure we applied early was a difference maker for us,” said head coach Andy Sparks. “I’m really pleased with the way we came out in the first half in particular. We’ve got nothing to lose given where we are with three of our very key girls not playing and probably out for the rest of the season. The other girls have really stepped it up. The reality is, this is the group that has to do it. They can do.”

uOttawa takes on the number two seed Carleton Ravens in the OUA East Semi Finals. That game will tip off this Saturday at 5:30 pm in the Ravens’ Nest.

 “We’re just gonna have to play well over there,” added Sparks. “It’ll be a war because Carleton plays a very physical style so it doesn’t really suit Maddie and Steph and some of the others. So we’re just going to have to execute for sure to get ourselves some looks, it’s hard to get looks against them.”

The rivals split the season series, with the Gee-Gees losing at Carleton on November 29 and getting their redemption in front of over 6000 fans at the Capital Hoops Classic. 

Despite the injury bug following the Gee-Gees all season long they were able to dress 12 players against York, adding some valuable depth, and look to use that to their advantage on Saturday against a Carleton lineup of usually eight or nine.

Box Score              1st            2nd           3rd           4th            F

York                        4              10            13            19            46

Ottawa                    26            18            13            13            70