Women’s Basketball (1-2 OUA)
Hosted Windsor (2-1 OUA) on Friday, November 18, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. (SSN Canada)
uOttawa – Jenna Gilbert 25 points, 4 rebounds; Hannah Sunley-Paisley 14 points, 11 rebounds, Kellie Ring 14 points, 4 rebounds
Windsor – Miah-Marie Langlois 20 points, 5 rebounds; Korissa Williams 16 points, 1 rebound
The Gee-Gees captured their first win of the season, triumphing 74-58 over the number two nationally ranked Windsor Lancers, much to the delight of the large and vocal Gee-Gees home opener crowd.
The Gee-Gees were looking more settled and opened up to a early lead in the first half, though the defending CIS champion Lancers were not going to make things easy for the Garnet and Grey. With 20 points in the first half alone, fourth-year centre Jenna Gilbert (Ottawa, Ont.) was on fire for the Gee-Gees, scoring two shy of half the Gee-Gees first half points.
With some adjustments at half, the Lancers came out strong into the third quarter, matching the Gee-Gees and narrowing the score gap to three points in this spectacular showing of basketball. Rookie point guard Kellie Ring (Ottawa, Ont.) jumpstarted the Gee-Gees offense and re-lit the fire under the home crowd with her three pointer in the final minute of the third, and second-year guard Tatiana Hanlan (Gatineau, Que.) finished three free throws to also add to the boost.
Heading into the fourth frame the Gee-Gees would have to make some adjustments of their own if they were to secure their first win. After a silent third quarter, Gilbert added another three to open the final frame, much to the approval of the home crowd. And in the end, the Gee-Gees proved they have what it takes to be national contenders as they, in return, matched the Lancers and finished on top.
“Today was probably the turnaround game,” said Gilbert, noting the careful preparation of the team for tonight’s game, “They’re obviously a really good team. We knew what they liked to do on offense so we ran through it all and talked about how we were going to shut them down.”
Head coach Andy Sparks noted a key difference in tonight’s game was the return of Ring, especially in practice this week, “Kelly was very big for us today. [Windsor’s] very athletic and their guards are quick and they put a lot of pressure on you. We were really struggling with their pressure and Kelly was really key for us in handling that.”
“Hannah competed start to finish,” said Sparks also commenting on the dominant play of fifth-year centre Hannah Sunley-Paisley in the win, “[Windsor’s] bigs are considered the best bigs in the country and today our bigs were just as good and maybe better. And with Bess [Lennox] and Jenna and Hannah playing the way they did, it was a pretty substantial result for us for sure.”
“But it’s one game and it’s early in the year,” Sparks was quick to remind, “And whether we won or lost that game, we’d have the same approach tomorrow; we have to get better tomorrow.”
The Gee-Gees will return to Montpetit Hall tomorrow night, November 19, as they host Western (1-1 OUA) at 6:00 p.m. (SSN Canada)