Gee-Gees defense shuts down opponents’ attack in a perfect weekend

The Gee-Gees women’s basketball team took down two Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference rivals over the weekend in an impressive fashion to improve their record to 7–2.

Laurentian

On Friday, Jan. 13, the University of Ottawa outlasted the Laurentian University Voyageurs in a hard-fought 66–51 win.

The squad came out slowly in the first quarter, failing to generate much in the way of offence, and looking completely overwhelmed at times. Turnovers were an issue for the Gees, as they gave away possession six times in the quarter, ultimately entering the second quarter trailing 14–10.

After a poor first quarter, the Gees’ struggles continued as the second quarter started. The Voyageurs took an early 18–12 lead before the Gees managed to come back and tie it up at 18–18. The quarter would be pretty even after that, with the Gees entering half-time holding a slim 28–27 advantage.

Gees head coach Andy Sparks must have given a great half-time speech because the team entered the second half looking rejuvenated, shooting a solid 46 per cent from the field after only shooting 32 per cent in the first.

The Gees then took a 42–31 lead, their biggest lead of the game, with less than four minutes to go in the third. Laurentian cut into their lead at the end of the quarter, but the Gees held a 44–38 advantage going into the final period.

The University of Ottawa took a commanding 58–43 lead with 5:28 to go in the fourth quarter. Showing no signs of taking the foot off the pedal, the Gees extended their lead to 21. The Voyageurs pushed back at the end, but it wasn’t enough, and the game finished 66–51 for the Gees.

Sarah Besselink was a force to be reckoned with on Friday, notching 16 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, and contributing defensively with four blocks.

“We ran a little flex offense and that gave us some good inside looks. We also went to Sarah Besselink a lot more in the second half, and she was a real key for us,” said Sparks. “We got to know who are scorers.”

The Gees forced 22 turnovers and held the Voyageurs to a dismal 33.9 field goal percentage. The Voyageurs did themselves no favours, converting on only 10 of 20 free throws.

Nipissing

In the second matchup in as many days, the Gees put on one of their most dominant performances of the season against the Nipissing Lakers on Saturday, trouncing them 88–32.

The Gees flexed their offensive muscles all game with outstanding stats across the board. Sparks’ team converted on 52.2 per cent of their shots from the field, 46.7 per cent from behind the line, and 81.8 per cent from the charity stripe.

Points off turnovers was a huge stat in this game, as the Gees dropped 26 points on Lakers’ miscues as they forced 16 turnovers.

At the defensive end, the Gees had two unbelievable quarters of shut-down ball, allowing only four points in the second period and two in the third.

The first half showcased the Gees-Gees’ strong play on both sides of the ball. They didn’t allow a single three-pointer, and brought a 40–19 lead into recess.

Reserve Melina Wishart was the story of the second half, dropping 18 points in only 10 minutes and going 4–4 from the three-point line. She ended the game with a season-high 20 points.

The second half also saw the Gees completely dominate both sides of the court, shooting 57.1 per cent from the field and limiting the Lakers to a mere 16.1 shooting percentage.

Sarah Besselink had her second-straight 20-point performance and added eight rebounds.

Needless to say, the Gees are playing great basketball heading into a huge game against their crosstown rival, the Carleton Ravens.

After the Gees’ Tuesday match against Carleton, their next game is on Jan. 20 at Montpetit Hall against Lakehead University. Tickets can be purchased from the Gee-Gees website.