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Women’s b-ball defeats Carleton for the second-year in a row

 Photo: Marta Keirkus

For the first time, the ladies Gee-Gees basketball team won their second consecutive Capital Hoops Classic.

Alongside fourth-year point guard Kellie Ring’s unstoppable drive and aggressiveness, the team played hard defence against the Carleton Ravens throughout their Feb. 6 matchup at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Ottawa led the game with high energy and focus to start the first quarter. But with the Ravens’ larger posts, they out-rebounded the Gee-Gees 17-2. Carleton killed Ottawa’s momentum and stole the lead to finish the first.

“We can’t have it like that,” said Ring. “They are bigger girls, but we just have to out-muscle them and outwork them … that’s something we’re going to work on in practice.”

Carleton’s zone defence rattled Ottawa for most of the second, and it wasn’t until second-year post Akpene Kwamie’s attempted charge that the Gee-Gees responded with a few points of their own. The half finished off with the Ravens leading 25-19.

“Our best kids were not our best kids at the half, and we put a little on the line at halftime,” said head coach Andy Sparks. “We really talked about accountability, and how players have to step up in this situation, and I really thought in the second half they did.”

During the third, Ring showed the crowd why she’s one of the top guards in the country. With her constant fine finishes and three-point shots, the Gee-Gees were able to pull ahead once again.

In the final quarter, both teams left it all on the floor. But it was shooting guard Krista Van Slingerland’s knockdown three that secured the win for the Gee-Gees at 46-40 with less than a minute left in the game.

“Our goal in the second half was if this is going to be a win, we have to keep them at 40 points,” said Ring. “We did just that. It feels good. We had some people step up.”

Though it was never a pretty game from an offensive perspective for the Gees, the team excelled on the defensive end to win the game.

“I think our pressure was really good in that one, we did take them out of their stuff,” said Sparks. “They had a lot of short shot clocks in the second half, and I think that was pretty key. There were defensive positives for sure.”

Ottawa will travel to Toronto to face off against York University on Feb. 13, then to Kingston on Feb.14 to take on Queen’s.