The seventh lead change of the game, coming early in the fourth quarter, swung momentum in the Carleton Ravens’ favour and they led the rest of the way. They took it 60-55 in a physical back-and-forth game on Friday night at the Ravens’ Nest.
The Ravens drew first blood in the game, taking the early lead in what was a very low scoring first quarter. uOttawa quickly countered and put together a 12-2 run featuring strong play down low from Katherine Lemoine.
The rebounding battle was dead even with eight offensive and 17 defensive rebounds pulled down by each team in the first half. Despite some size mismatches favouring the Gee-Gees, the Ravens ended up winning the battle inside the paint. They pulled down 52 rebounds compared to uOttawa’s 42 in the game.
Both teams were abysmal shooting three pointers in the opening half, going 1-for-9 from beyond the arc. The Gee-Gees were successful in creating open looks for MacDonald, Soriano, and Besselink with Besselink hitting one late in the second quarter, adding to their 29-23 halftime lead.
“They definitely took it to us. They have a group of exceptionally hard-working kids. They’re undermanned. Those kids stepped up for them. It shows how little talent comes into play when it comes to actually being successful in the game,” said coach Andy Sparks. “Their scores were easy, ours were difficult. We had opportunities today but they just didn’t give us a lot of good opportunities.”
Heather Lindsay had her best performance of the season for the Ravens, scoring 18 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. She dominated underneath the basket when, at times, it looked very sloppy for both teams.
“We didn’t come out with our best effort today,” said a dejected Stephanie MacDonald after the game. “Our week of practice wasn’t great and it showed today. Credit to them, they out-hustled us and out-rebounded us which is huge. There was a lack of offensive flow for us. We really just didn’t have a well-rounded game.”
There were a couple of lighter moments though. Julia Soriano hit the ground on the defensive end losing a shoe in the process. Without missing a beat, she jumped up and found her mark again, then proceeded to take the ball the other way to set up the offence. Later in the game, Carleton was given a technical foul for having too many players on the court, something usually seen in hockey, not basketball.
In the end, the Gee-Gees just could not make their shots count in the fourth when they really needed them.
“I think one team had just a little bit more drive for success in this one,” commented Sparks. “Two losses in a row, to two teams we had a good chance at beating. The reality is, now we get to find out what kind of character we have. I think this is a team that could do a lot. I don’t know if they will. There needs to be a change of focus for them to do more.”
“You don’t want to lose to Carleton, it’s our rival school,” said MacDonald, who was closely guarded all game by the Carleton defenders. “There’s so much hype about it. We’re going to learn from it. We’re a young team. We’re not going to get our heads down, we’ll keep moving forward.”
Katherine Lemoine was stellar off the bench, going 4-for-5 for 11 points, while Maddie Stephen led the way for the Gee-Gees with 15 points.
The Gee-Gees are now 6-3 and enter the winter break tied atop the OUA East with Carleton.
1 2 3 4 T
uOttawa 14 15 14 12 55
Carleton 10 13 16 21 60