Katherine DeClerq | Fulcrum Staff
THE GEE-GEES MADE the most of the Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) Regional East tournament on March 9–10, using it as the ultimate practice for the upcoming CIS championships. The University of Ottawa women’s basketball team (19-3 regular season, 3-0 playoffs) took home a convincing 75-69 win against the University of Fraser Valley Cascades (12-6 regular season, 2-2 playoffs). Despite their best efforts, the Gees broke their home-court winning streak with a three-point loss in a rematch against the University of Windsor Lancers (20-2 regular season, 2-1 playoffs), finishing second in the tournament.
The game against Fraser Valley saw the Gees gain a convincing lead in the first half. Second-year guard Tatiana Hanlan opened up with back-to-back treys while fifth-year forward Elisabeth Lennox led the Gees in a scoring drive that lasted the entire second quarter, leaving the board 36-32.
Fraser Valley retaliated in the third, coming within a point of the Gees. Fifth-year centre Hannah Sunley-Paisley stepped up, sinking 16 points and nine rebounds throughout the 60 minutes, finishing the game 75-69.
“The game plan was to try and play everyone in the first half and see where we were,” said Gee-Gees’ head coach Andy Sparks to Sports Services. “Unfortunately, it was a little closer than we wanted it to be. We got up 15 and it would’ve been nice if we had pushed through a little bit better.”
The Windsor Lancers got the opportunity to seek revenge on the Gees for stealing their Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship. The teams faced off yet again in Montpetit Hall on March 10, where the Gees couldn’t hold their first-quarter lead, resulting in their first home-court loss of the 2011–12 season.
“I think we were running on fumes tonight,” said Sparks after the game. “We definitely showed that we were a little tired. The effort was there in that game, but the execution [wasn’t].”
The first two points of the game were scored by rookie guard Kellie Ring, who dodged the Lancer defenders with a layup. The Gees offence was led yet again by Lennox who succeeded in scoring seven of the 15 points in the first quarter.
The Gees were unable to widen their 15-6 lead, allowing the Lancers to make a five-point comeback within the first three minutes of play in the second quarter. After making some costly mistakes resulting in many free throws on the Gees part, the half ended in Windsor’s favour, 25-20.
“I mean, last time we played them we made everything. This time, we hardly made anything,” said Sparks.
The second half saw the Gees come back with some scoring of their own. The game went back and forth between the teams until second-year guard Sarah Nolette dunked a three-pointer from outside the arc, followed by a back-handed layup by Ring. Lennox contributed an additional 10 points, but it wasn’t enough to capture the win, as the game ended 58-55 for the Lancers.
Sparks commented on the lack of motivation the Gees may have felt during the CIS Regional East tournament, as they have already qualified for the CIS championship along with the University of Windsor Lancers.
“It was a different type of feeling than we had last week at the OUA championship,” he said. “Hopefully we can get our spark back by next weekend, and I know we will.
“Now we have to go and win games.”
The Gees will travel to the University of Calgary for the CIS championships March 17–19.