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Women’s basketball earns OUA bronze, wildcard spot at CIS finals

Maclaine Chadwick | Fulcrum Staff

ON MARCH 9, the University of Ottawa women’s basketball team hosted the McMaster University Marauders in a battle for the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) bronze medal. Under the guidance of OUA East coach of the year Andy Sparks, the girls triumphed over the visiting Marauders 71-50.

In true Gee-Gees fashion, it was key three-point shooting from Tatiana Hanlan and Jenna Gilbert that gave the Gees edge over McMaster in the second half of the game. Hanlan led the squad on the scoreboard with 16 points, followed by Gilbert with 12 and rookie Catherine Traer with 11.

Second-year centre Maddie Stephen earned a double-double of 12 rebounds and 10 defensive rebounds in the game, numbers on par with all-star Marauder Hailey Milligan’s 13 rebounds and 10 defensive rebounds.

“We finally started to make some shots—Jenna and Tatiana making shots let us open it up a bit more in the second half,” said Sparks. “Maddie got her twelve rebounds and did her thing defensively … it was a good team result.”

Following the win, the team patiently awaited the results of the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) basketball finals to find out if they made the wildcard spot at the women’s CIS championship in Regina, Sask. After the Saint Mary’s Huskies defeated the St. Francis-Xavier University X-Women on Sunday afternoon, the Gee-Gees were selected for the wildcard spot by coaches from the four CIS conferences—OUA, AUS, Réseau du Sport étudiant du Québec, and Canada West.

The team will travel to nationals with five all-star nods on top of Sparks’ coach-of-the-year honour. Gilbert and Kellie Ring were named to the OUA East first all-stars team, Stephen represents the Gees on the second team, and the duo of Traer and Julia Soriano were named to the all-rookie team.

Seeded in eighth place, the Gee-Gees will have to overcome the University of Windsor Lancers, who have won the past two women’s basketball championships, to move past the quarter-finals in the tournament. The team will also be playing without Ring, their star guard who remains benched with a serious knee injury.

Fans who can’t travel to Regina to catch the tournament can watch the excitement streamed live on The Gee-Gees face the Lancers at 1 p.m. on March 15.