Ottawa’s resiliency was tested on Friday night when they took to the floor for a much anticipated rematch versus the Carleton Ravens. In the end, the Gee-Gees were able to take a 52-50 victory thanks to solid defensive stops in the final minutes of the game.
“We managed to hang on, we had a couple of big shots down the stretch that allowed us to open the score up and give us what was needed to take the win,” said head coach Andy Sparks. “This game was a great experience. It was good for us to make it through this, because this is the type of competition you get at the national level.”
With the win, the Gee-Gees move past Carleton for first place in the OUA East standings. “The goal is always to finish the year in first place but our personal goal was just to get better every game and we have done both those things,” Sparks said.
Jenna Gilbert’s return to the line-up had an immediate impact for the Gee-Gees as she opened up the scoring with a long basket from downtown. After being defeated at Scotiabank Place by Carleton earlier this season, the Gee-Gees appeared much more composed on home court as they out-scored the Ravens 16-8 in the first quarter.
Despite being without their top rebounder, Maddie Stephen, the Gee-Gees were able to out-rebound the Ravens 46-to-42 in the game. The Gee-Gees also played well on the defensive end as they forced the Ravens to commit several turnovers in the opening 20 minutes. As a result, Ottawa took a 28-18 point lead into the half-time break.
The Ravens were able to make a push near the end of the third quarter thanks to a series of threes capped off by Alyson Bush which brought her team to within eight points. Bush finished the night with 16 points to lead the Ravens.
Things heated up in the final frame, when the Gee-Gees held down a one point lead for the majority of the quarter. However, thanks to short-range buckets from Catherine Traer and Tatiana Hanlan, Ottawa was able to extend their lead to five points with 1:33 remaining.
In the final thirty seconds, Carleton’s Lindsay Shotbolt and Darcy Hawkins were able to hit back-to-back shots from beyond the arc, bringing the score to within two points. Yet, the Gee-Gees were able to make a stop with 7.1 seconds left in the game which ultimately led to the victory.
Throughout the year, the Gee-Gees have out-scored their opponents in the first half but have shown difficultly in holding down leads in the second half. “I think we had let-ups at certain points tonight but nothing significantly damaging. They came back near the end but you can expect that from a high calibre team like them,” said head coach Andy Sparks.
Kayte Chase was an integral part of the win for the Gee-Gees as she was reluctant to give the Ravens any kind of space on defence. “The confidence coach has given me has been huge and I’m happy I was able to ease back into my role successfully after coming off my injury,” said Chase who missed time midway through the season due to a concussion.
Jenna Gilbert led the way in scoring with the Gee-Gees with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks. Kellie Ring also played well for Ottawa as she put up 10 points and 8 rebounds in 20 minutes of play.
Ring suffered what appeared to be a knee injury in the third quarter, when she fell to the ground in significant pain. She was unable to walk as she was carried off the court by Ottawa’s medical staff. Her status for the playoffs is unknown.
The Gee-Gees have a first round playoff bye and will next be in action to host an OUA East semifinal. Their opponent will be determined on Wednesday night. Stay tuned for schedule information and updates on geegees.ca
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Carleton 8 10 15 17 50
Ottawa 16 12 13 11 52