A tight 60-57 performance vaults Gee-Gees over Ryerson
Dressed in their home greys, the women’s basketball team took on the flashy blue and yellow Ryerson Rams down at Montpetit Hall on Friday, Jan. 25.
Coming in tied for first place with identical records of 14-2, both teams looked to leapfrog the other and take sole ownership of first place in the Ontario University Athletics eastern division
The Gees struggled early, missing some good chances and before long, faced a 9-2 deficit.
But the home team would try their best to fight back for the rest of the quarter. Eventually, Amélie Hachey would manage to grab the ball out of the hands of a distracted Ryerson player to cut the lead down to 14-10 and get the machine started.
Minutes later, Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu would tie the game at 16 with 40 seconds left in the quarter.
Tied at 16, Rams guard Cara Tiemans would open up the scoring at the start of the second with a three-point shot. In spite of this, the Gees would keep up the good fight, taking a 20-19 lead less than a minute later, thanks to Lefebvre-Okankwu.
However, the Rams would take control of the quarter due to poor defensive play from the Gees, and dig a five-point divide, which visibly infuriated the coaching staff. Ryerson would take a 35-30 lead into the dressing room at the half.
In the third, Ryerson would come out guns blazing, scoring a nice two-pointer on their first play of the half. Ryerson would dominate the first half of the quarter, bringing up the score to 48-40, but the Gees would come crawling back.
Angela Ribarich sunk a two-pointer, along with her teammates Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus and Lefebvre-Okankwu to get the score to 50-46 at the end of the quarter.
The U of O would continue on their late third quarter tear in the fourth. Hachey scored five points, including the winning basket, giving her team a 59-57 lead with less than 30 seconds left.
The Rams would then commit a defensive foul on Lefebvre-Okankwu, who sank one of her free- throws. Ryerson then who then failed to hit a three-pointer to tie the game, giving the Gees their 15th win of the season and sole control of first place.
Following his team’s big win, head coach Andy Sparks discussed the performance and highlighted their defensive effort.
“I think our defence was huge tonight. It’s on days like this, where you don’t make lots of shots, that you’ve got to pull together, and we did that,” Sparks said. “We had their starting point guard covered and in foul trouble, and it was a big part of this win for sure.’’
Ribarich, author of 14 points and five defensive rebounds, also addressed the media and talked about her pride in her team.
“I’m so proud of my teammates. They battled so hard out there,” Ribarich said. “We gave it our all, and we’d been talking about toughness all year. Tonight we were tough, played a full 40 minutes, left it all on the court. So proud.’’
After easily defeating the U of T Varsity Blues the night after, the big one is next. The Gees will pack the bus and head down to Kanata on Friday, Feb. 1 as they take on the Carleton Ravens in the 2019 Capital Hoops Classic.