Sports

Natsuki Szczokin proved herself to be a solid player for the Gees in her rookie year. Photo: Rame Abdulkader/The Fulcrum

Five senior Gee-Gees played their last regular-season games for Ottawa

The women’s basketball team faced a tough opponent in the form of the McMaster Marauders on Saturday night at Montpetit Hall. The Gee-Gees looked to bounce back after falling 69-63 to the Brock Badgers on Friday night. 

For seniors Angela Ribarich, Anne Carr, Brooklynn McAlear Fanus, Katherine Follis, and Tyra Blizzard, this marked their final regular-season game as Gee-Gees. 

Making their debut as the top-ranked team nationally, Ottawa dropped a tight game to the defensively strong Brock Badgers. This put an end to the Gees’ 14-game win streak. 

Saturday night’s game against McMaster did not start off great for the Gees. McMaster put five points on the board before Blizzard fought her way to the net and put up two points for the Gee-Gees. 

Christina Buttenham put up a three-pointer to extend the Marauder’s lead to 8-2. 

The Gees picked it up, and jumpers by Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu and Follis tied the game up at 11. Follis was fouled on her shot, heading to the line where she drained the free-throw to complete the three-point play and give the Gee-Gees their first lead of the game. 

With McMaster leading 13-12, it was Buttenham who opened up scoring in the second quarter. Later, Sarah Gates added a three-pointer to the growing Marauder lead. 

With 24 seconds left on the clock, Ottawa called a timeout. On the Gees’ final possession of the half, Follis drove into the paint and found the basket. At the end of the opening half, the Gees trailed 33-26. 

The Gees came out hungry in the third quarter. A stunning three-pointer by McAlear-Fanus made it 33-32 in favour of McMaster, but a strong take by Lefebvre Okankwu put Ottawa back in front. McAlear-Fanus extended the lead with a free throw and a pair of jumpers, but Gates did not let the game get away from the Marauders. 

The third was a back-and-forth battle, but this time, the Gees finished ahead. With only 10 minutes left to play, Ottawa led 56-53. 

Returning from injury, Maia Timmons fired a three-pointer to put the Gees up 60-55. 

Buttenham, Gates, and the McMaster lineup were able to close the gap and again, the score was tied. 

With 62-62 on the board, Blizzard made a pair of free-throws while Timmons added another three-pointer to gain the lead for the Gees. 

Jump shots by Buttenham, Gates, and Olivia Wilson, flipped the lead again. 

With only a minute left of play, each team had 70 points on the board. 

Coming out of a timeout, Buttenham sunk a shot from the top of the paint for two points. 

On the other end of the court, Lefebvre-Okankwu turned a missed free-throw into a layup to tie things up once more. 

Unfortunately for Ottawa, two free-throws by Gates would end the scoring. McMaster took the game 74-72, handing the Gee-Gees a loss to close off the regular season. 

The two losses mean that Ottawa will finish the regular season with a 18-4 record, second in the OUA, advancing them straight to the quarterfinals. The Carleton Ravens and York Lions will battle it out on Wednesday for the chance to take on the Gee-Gees on Saturday at Montpetit Hall. 

The Gees are looking to bring back their winning energy in the hunt for the Critelli Cup and a place at the USports National Championships in Ottawa in March.

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