Photo: James West.
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Early loss spells end to fantastic season, hope remains for future

For the Gee-Gees women’s basketball team, the 2015-16 season has been about defying expectations.

The Gees travelled to Fredericton with high hopes for a run at the national title after nearly defeating Ryerson in the conference finals. In a wide open tournament this year, the Gees left empty handed.

However, the team’s disappointing finish in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport National Championship tournament was not representative of their impressive season.

When their competitive season came to an end, they were only a matter of minutes away from upsetting the second-ranked team in the nation in the quarterfinals at nationals.

The Gee-Gees got off to a thunderous start with their signature defensive pressure, limiting the Huskies to just 12 points in the first quarter. However, despite a third quarter push which saw the Gees lead 49-48, the team was unable to withstand the Huskies for the length of the game.

The Huskies proved to be too big and strong for the Gees as their fantasy season ended, shattering hopes of bringing the Bronze Baby back to Ottawa for the first time in the program’s history.

Ottawa had an especially hard time containing Saskatchewan’s fifth-year veteran forward Dalyce Emmerson, who terrorized the Gees frontline scoring 25 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Kellie Ring was the Gees’ highest scorer with 19 points to go with 8 rebounds, but she shot just 9-22 in the game as she and the rest of her team struggled offensively, hitting just 32.5 per cent of their attempted field goals.

The following day, the Gee-Gees had another tough matchup in a consolation semifinal after the Saint Mary’s Huskies stunned the Alberta Pandas the day before. The team’s fourth game in under a week was another close fight for the Gees, but it resulted in a 69-60 loss.

The loss was mainly due to Ottawa’s fourth quarter stall, scoring only four points in the final frame. Alberta capitalized on this, putting up 24 points to bury the Gees.

Key to the team’s recent demise was their inefficient shooting, particularly from the three-point line where they made just 13 of 48 attempts throughout the tournament.

Ring, Besselink, and forward Catherine Traer all had solid games scoring 16, 16, and 18 points, respectively. Ring also pulled down nine rebounds in what may have been her last game in garnet and grey.

With the loss, the team will return to Ottawa, heal, and work on building upon their impressive season and young core of players for another finals push in 2016.