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Gee-Gees earn sixth place at CIS championships

Maclaine Chadwick | Fulcrum Staff

In their final run of the 2012–2013 season, the University of Ottawa women’s basketball team played in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Final 8 tournament in Regina, Sask. from March 15-17.

Game 1: Gee-Gees 46, Lancers 56

The Gees’ first game pitted them against returning two-time champions the University of Windsor Lancers, who went 21-0 in the regular season to earn them the first-place seed at the CIS tournament. They prevailed over the eighth-seeded Gee-Gees 56-46.

During the low-scoring game, onlookers at the University of Regina were almost witness to an upset as the Gee-Gees held their own against the first-place squad. Windsor led the Ottawa squad 13-10 before going into the second quarter, where the Gees prevented the Lancers from scoring for over five minutes.

“We did execute the defensive game plan,” said Gee-Gees head coach Andy Sparks. “We were not moving the way that we needed to be on offence—we didn’t click.”

The Gees tied the game in the third quarter at 27-27, and took their first lead thanks to a three-point shot from second-year Ariane Lachance-Scantland. The Gee-Gees were able to recover from a ten-point lead gained by the Lancers early in the fourth, with buckets from Julia Soriano, Jenna Gilbert, Maddie Stephen, and Tatiana Hanlan, bringing the Gees within six points of the Lancers with just over two minutes left in the game.

“If we had to do it over again, I don’t know if we would have changed a whole lot,” said Sparks following the game.

Game 2: Gee-Gees 52, Ravens 51

Even though both teams were far from home, the crosstown rivalry of the U of O Gee-Gees and the Carleton University Ravens carried over to the consolation bracket of the CIS Final 8, and ended in a 52-51 win for the Gees.

Despite only scoring 14 points in the first half compared to Carleton’s 31 points, the Gees pulled through in the final quarter of the game to prevail over the Ravens. Between only three turnovers and a lack of sharp shooting on Carleton’s side, the Ravens were only able to score five points in the fourth quarter while the Gees dominated and put 21 points up on the board. Rookie Catherine Traer led the Gees in total scoring, contributing 13 points to the game.

“We’re proud of each other and happy to get the chance to go out tomorrow and win another game,” said fifth-year guard Gilbert after the game.

“We came in seeded eighth, so for us to get through to the final third game is a testament to the work that the team has put in,” said Sparks. “We gave Windsor all they could handle yesterday and for us to come back today against Carleton … it’s a character win.”

Game 3: Gee-Gees 50, McGill 71

In their final game of the 2012–2013 championships, the Gee-Gees lost the battle for fifth to the McGill University Martlets by a score of 71-50. Falling to the Martlets early in the game, down by eleven points after the first quarter, the Gees tried but were unable to regain their game over McGill.

Second-year Kim Cupid led in scoring, putting 10 points on the board for the Gee-Gees and earning her player of the game. Martlet Gabriela Hebert, however, was McGill’s secret weapon during the match, and put up 19 points after averaging only 5.8 points per game in the regular season.

The loss to McGill puts the Gees in sixth place in the CIS to finish the season. The Windsor Lancers proceeded to overcome the University of Calgary Dinos to win the entire tournament for the third consecutive season.

The game marked veteran Gilbert’s last game with the team, but also gave crucial experience to rising stars Traer and Soriano.

“Since I did get a lot of playing time in the season, I don’t think of myself as a rookie anymore and I knew I had to step up,” said Soriano. “What I learned [at nationals] is that it was really a toss-up—anyone could win the games, all you need is the focus.”