Photo: Remi Yuan.
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Fourth-quarter push is too little too late for Gee-Gees

In their final tune-up before the regular season, the University of Ottawa women’s basketball team faced off against the Université de Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Citadins on Sunday, Nov. 6.

Even after suffering a double overtime loss to McGill, the new-look Gees came into the game with a modest 6–5 pre-season record. Their opponents sported a similarly mixed 5–3 record in the preseason.

With a couple new faces on the court, the Gees hoped to head into the regular season on a high note.

But once the ball was tipped off, UQAM showcased an aggressive full-court press.

Solid defense by the Citadins made trouble for the Gees’ offense early on. The team trailed 20–12 by the end of the first quarter, and would be stuck playing catch-up for most of the game.

Turnovers plagued the Gees throughout the contest, and they struggled to halt the Citadins’ lethal three-point attack.

The Gees went on an impressive 11–0 run in the fourth quarter, and actually managed to take the lead 64–62 in the final minutes of the game.

With under 30 seconds left on the clock, the Gees were up 67–66. But as time wound down, neither team was able to score.

A huge block by Sarah Besselink as time ran out seemed to seal the Gees’ victory, but a questionable foul was called with 0.3 seconds left on the clock. UQAM stepped to the line and nailed two free throws under pressure, to take the lead 68–67.

Even though Ottawa called a timeout to draw up a play, the game ended with the Gees not able to get a shot off.

Despite making it a close contest in the end, head coach Andy Sparks was not happy with his team’s performance during the majority of the game.

“We played five minutes of a 40-minute game. We didn’t deserve the win tonight,” said Sparks.

Going into the regular season, Sparks is looking for his veterans to step up following a mediocre 6–6 preseason record.

The Gees will begin the season with six new faces on their roster, and they will need to lean on veterans like Besselink and Julia Soriano in close contests.

Despite a less-than-stellar preseason performance, it will still be interesting to see how the team does following their outstanding 17–2 regular season last year.

The team opens the regular season on Nov. 19 against Algoma and plays their first home game Dec. 2 against McMaster. Tickets can be purchased here.