Katherine DeClerq | Fulcrum Staff
THE 2011–12 VARSITY playoff season is almost at an end. The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees have had a good season, but as of now, only two teams remain in the running for a Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) spot. The Fulcrum gives you the rundown of how our teams did in their respective provincial conferences.
Men’s basketball team season ends in quarter-final matchup
Despite their efforts, the men’s basketball team (13-9 regular season, 1-1 playoffs) suffered a heartbreaking 74-71 loss to the Ryerson University Rams (13-9 regular season, 1-0 playoffs) on Feb. 25 in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) quarter-finals.
The Gees began the game slow, with the Rams outscoring them by 11 points in the first quarter. The Rams offence seemed too much for the Gees to handle, and although they closed the gap in the last few minutes of the game, they were unable to stop Ryerson’s roll.
Head coach James Derouin told Sports Services the young team will be back next year with a vengeance.
“The big thing is the young guys got the experience and now we can learn from it. That’s what it’s all about, the learning experience,” he said. “It’s not the ending we wanted, but to get this close to the Final Four without Warren Ward— that’s pretty special.”
Women’s basketball team makes it to Final Four
On Feb. 25 the women’s basketball team (19-3 regular season, 1-0 playoffs) won the opportunity to play in the OUA Final Four after a convincing 89-53 victory against the Ryerson University Rams (11-11 regular season, 1-1 playoffs) in the quarter-final matchup.
“I think our starters did very well,” said head coach Andy Sparks after the game. “We only had five turnovers at the first half … You [could] tell the frustration coming out on their point and it was probably because of us executing well on the offensive—getting the shots we wanted to get.”
The Gees made easy work of the Rams, gaining an 11-point lead in the first quarter alone. That lead was maintained by a series of three-point shootouts by second-year guard Sarah Nolette and fifth-year centre Hannah Sunley-Paisely for the win.
The University of Ottawa will host the OUA Final Four next weekend, competing in the semifinal game on March 2 at 6 p.m. against the University of Brock Badgers (15-7 regular season, 1-0 playoffs).
Men’s hockey goes further than last year
After a playoff berth with two wins against Nipissing University, the men’s hockey team (14-13-1 regular season, 2-2 playoffs) lost to the second-place nationally ranked McGill University Redmen (22-4-2 regular season, 4-0 playoffs) 5-3 in the OUA semifinals, ultimately ending their 2011–12 season.
“Our execution was just bad,” explained head coach Réal Paiement to Sports Services. “We just did not do what we needed to do defensively, and they are a good skating, hard-working team. The difference between the two teams is the swagger and confidence that McGill has.”
Try as they may, the Garnet and Grey just couldn’t hold off the Redmen’s offence—allowing them four straight goals in the second period alone. The Gees managed a small comeback, scoring two points in the third, but it wasn’t enough and the board was left at 5-3.
For the first time this season, the University of Ottawa women’s hockey team (6-13-1 regular season, 1-2 playoffs) beat the second nationally ranked McGill University Martlets (18-1-1 regular season, 2-1 playoffs) 2-0 during a crucial playoff match. Unfortunately the victory was short-lived as the Martlets returned with a vengeance in the next two games, eliminating the Gees from the playoffs.
The second game saw the U of O lose 8-0 and the third 9-1, with the squad unable to keep up with the attacking Martlets.
The Gees are happy with their performance this season regardless of the loss. A young team with only one graduating player on their roster, they will be back to compete in 2012–13.
Track and field takes gold at OUA championships
The University of Ottawa track and field team was highly successful in their OUA championship meet on Feb. 24–25 at York University.
The first day of competitions resulted in three gold medals by Sekou Kaba with a record-breaking time in the 60M hurdles, Mark Chenery in the men’s pentathlon, and Oluwasegun Makinde in the 300M event. Fifth-year middle distance runner Jennifer Perrault also gained a silver in the women’s 1000M event, while fourth-year Michael Robertson took bronze in the 300M.
The Gees maintained their medal-winning momentum with Perrault adding a gold in the women’s 600M event and leading the 4X400M relay team to a bronze. The men’s 4X200M relay team also edged their way to a first-place win.
“The women’s and men’s finished fifth overall, which are good results,” said third-year student, team manager and assistant coach Réda Benazzouz. “We had some great performances.”
The squad will compete in the Super Saturday Series on March 3 in Ottawa before travelling to the University of Manitoba to compete in the CIS championships.