Calgary’s Liene Stalidzane tries to get away from Brock’s Jessica Morris. Photo: Desmond Staples/The Fulcrum
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Scotten, Reid and Rainford deliver strong performances at USports championships

The women’s basketball national championships got underway on Thursday at TD Place Arena. The top eight teams in the country are all in Ottawa this weekend competing for the ultimate prize.

No. 6 UPEI Panthers vs No. 3 Ryerson Rams: UPEI shuts down Ryerson in the fourth quarter to pull off 75-70 win 

The OUA finalists Ryerson Rams were the perfect team to get the action started. While the UPEI Panthers had some gems, it was clear they didn’t know how to handle Ryerson’s Marin Scotten. 

Scotten had 31 points for the Rams and 10 rebounds in a dominant performance for the Rams. The journalism student-led all Rams in most offensive categories on the afternoon.

UPEI, however, put on a strong team display and were able to counter Scotten and the rest of the Rams offence. At the half, the Panthers were up 29-28. 

Ryerson opened up the scoring in the second half, but a wide-open three by Lauren Rainford put UPEI up 32-30. Ryerson tied it up quickly, but Rainford found the basket from behind the three to maintain the lead. 

The Rams didn’t let the Panthers stay ahead thanks to a three-pointer by Scotten. Rainford and Scotten battled it out for the rest of the quarter but Scotten took her game to the next level and gave her team a 56-46 lead after three frames. 

Ryerson wasn’t able to keep up the pressure in the fourth quarter and UPEI quickly caught up to the Rams, taking the lead 59-58 with still half of the final quarter left. Reese Baxendale was amazing for the Panthers in the fourth quarter, with seven successful free throws and one three-pointer in the quarter.

Ryerson lost all momentum in the bottom half of the fourth and struggled mightily. UPEI took advantage of this and eventually took the game 75-70. The AUS champions move on to the next round where they will face the Brock Badgers on Saturday at 1 p.m. 

No. 7 Calgary Dinos vs No. 2 Brock Badgers: Badgers pull on top in last minute to win game by one point

The Brock Badgers defeated the Calgary Dinos 72-71 in Game 2 on the day. The Badgers were led by Samantha Keltos, who put up 24 points on the board, and by Malissa Tatti, who took away seven rebounds from the Dinos. For Calgary, the offensive trio was composed of Liene Stalidzane, Bobbi-Jo Colburn and Erin McIntosh, who had 41 points in the losing effort.

After finishing 17-5 in the regular season, Brock pushed their way through the OUA playoffs, winning the Critelli Cup to prove their strength as a team. The University of Calgary was a dominant force through the regular season, but after a little bump in the Canada West playoffs, they looked for redemption at the national championships. 

Brock got off to a good start and took the first quarter 24-16, the Dinos came roaring back and took the next two quarters 19-15 and 19-18. Heading into the final quarter the score was 57-54 Badgers. Calgary took a one-point lead but Tatti had some late-game heroics up her sleeve, hitting a layup and digging out a big win for the Badgers.

Brock will take on UPEI on Saturday at 1 p.m.

No. 5 Alberta Golden Bears vs No. 4 Laval Rouge et Or: Rouge et Or’s Khaleann Caron-Goudreau puts Laval past U of A

The RSEQ champions Université Laval Rouge et Or got the better of the University of Alberta Golden Bears in the early evening game.

The Golden Bears won the first two quarters and were up 30 to 25 at the half. Sydney Fedick had nine points in the first half and was dominant on the court for the U of A. 

The third quarter was a lot more difficult for the team from Edmonton, who missed multiple open shots and only scored four points, dropping the quarter 14-4. Up 39-34 heading into the third quarter, the Rouge et Or kept their foot on the gas and coasted to a 39-34 win. 

Khaleann Caron-Goudreau led the way for the victors with 17 points, while Fedick was the best on the Golden Bears with nine. Three other players each had eight points for the U of A.

No. 1 Saskatchewan Huskies vs No. 8 Carleton Ravens: Huskies take big win over Carleton

The Saskatchewan Huskies easily beat the Carleton Ravens 73-59 in Thursday night’s main event.

Saskatchewan annihilated the host team in the first quarter 30-11 and was on pace to win 120-44. The Ravens, however, found their wings in the second quarter and were able to limit the damage, winning the quarter 21-16. At halftime, the score was 46-32. 

In a low-scoring third quarter, the Huskies came out on top 12-9. Carleton was able to put up 18 in the final quarter but the Saskatchewan lead was unsurmountable and the Huskies took the final game of the day 73-59. 

The big two for Carleton had two very different games. Alyssa Cerino was held scoreless while Madison Reed had 18 points. For the Huskies, Sabine Dukate put up 21 points and Katriana Philipenko had 13 points. Libby Epoch and Katriana Philipenko for Saskatchewan had 10 rebounds each.

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