AROUND OUA: No. 5 Gaels top Lions, conclude season with best record in program history

AROUND OUA: No. 5 Gaels top Lions, conclude season with best record in program history

SCOREBOARD

York 52 @ Queen's 76

Ryerson 65 @ Carleton 71

Toronto 57 @ Ottawa 63

Waterloo 41 @ Lakehead 61

Laurentian 54 @ Algoma 66

No. 5 Gaels top Lions, conclude season with best record in program history

KINGSTON, Ont. (February 17, 2017)- The U SPORTS No. 5 ranked Queen's Gaels women's basketball team finished its regular season with a convincing victory over the visiting York Lions at the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC) on Friday evening.

With the victory, the Gaels clinch the top-seed in the conference and earn a bye through to the OUA quarter-finals next weekend. Their 18-1 regular season record is the best in program history.
 
Fifth-year seniors Emily Hazlett (Fredericton, N.B.), Robyn Pearson (Toronto), and Gemma Bullard (Guelph, Ont.) were honoured following the contest for the great contributions they made to the Gaels basketball program over their post-secondary tenure. Pearson finishes her regular season career as the fourth-highest rebounder in OUA women's basketball history, and the first overall in Queen's history with 866 rebounds.
 
Bridget Mulholland finished the game with a career-best 17 points and nine rebounds, while the graduates Hazlett (9), Pearson (8), and Bullard (7) combined for 24 points.  
 
GAME FLOW
The hosts quickly built a 10-point advantage midway through the period, as the Lions struggled to keep up with the Gaels pace and transition game. Queen's shot an impressive 54.5% in the opening quarter, and took a 26-12 lead into the second.
 
The Gaels continued to pour on the offense in the second stanza, going on a 10-3 run to push their lead to over 20. After the Lions went on a mini-rum to bring the lead down to 15, Queen's finished the half by scoring eight of the next 11 to take a commanding 44-24 lead at the break. The women maintained their offensive efficiency throughout the second half, spreading the lead to just under 30, before cruising through the final quarter of play to finish the season with a formidable 18-1 record.
 
The women finished the game with a 35.3% (30-85) field-goal percentage, compared to 33.3% (18-54) from York, and outrebounded the Lions 54-44.
 
FINAL SAY
"It's been a heck of a run," said head coach Dave Wilson. "When we came in the fall and put the lineup together, we knew something like this was possible. We saw the depth that we had and thought we could do some really great things and that's what we challenged our players to do. They responded exceptionally well."
 
"Getting home court advantage and having a bye is huge, despite the fact that we aren't too banged up. This conference is very tough. We'll find out who we play on Wednesday, but no matter what it is going to be a really difficult game. But I feel like we are in good shape both mentally and physically to be playing our best basketball when it counts the most."
 
BY THE NUMBERS
17- Mulholland's 17 points is a season and career high, as well as her nine rebounds
4- Pearson is ranked fourth in OUA women's basketball history
2- The Gaels rank second in the conference with an average of 73.7 points per game
 
UP NEXT
The race for the Critelli Cup begins for the Gaels next Saturday, when they will host a conference quarter-final match-up after securing a first-round bye as the top seed in the conference. Their opponent will be decided after the first round of games are completed mid-week.
 
A Gaels victory would mean hosting the OUA Final Four the following weekend at the ARC. 

Source: Queen's Gaels

Ravens knock of Ryerson in OT classic

OTTAWA, ON — In a matchup that will be remembered as one of the top games of the 2016-17 OUA regular season, the Carleton Ravens women's basketball team emerged victorious over the Ryerson Rams with a 71-65 overtime win on Friday at the Ravens' Nest.

BOX SCORE

The country's fourth-ranked Ravens collected their 17th straight regular-season win in a wild top-ten encounter with the Rams that pushed both teams to the absolute limit.

Carleton forward Catherine Traer (Chelsea, QC) posted one of the season's top stat lines with a team-high 20 points to accompany her eight rebounds, seven steals and five blocks.

Carleton, who were without the services of OUA First-Team All-Star Heather Lindsay (Ottawa, ON), prevailed over the Rams in a game that had all the makings of a playoff contest, with the packed crowd cheering on the home team in a game that featured 10 lead changes.

The Ravens experienced a difficult start to the game, as the visiting Rams surprised Carleton by taking an 18-10 lead after one. Ryerson shot 7-for-17 in the first, while holding the Ravens to 30% from the floor (3-10 FG)  in the opening ten minutes. Carleton's Catherine Traer and Elizabeth Leblanc (London, ON) each knocked down a triple in the opening frame, but the quarter belonged to Ryerson's forward Sofia Paska, who scored seven points, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer to extend the Rams' lead to eight.

Carleton's play vastly improved to begin the second, as the Ravens got off to a 7-0 start, trimming the deficit to one point following a Steph Carr (Stittsville, ON) basket. Ryerson was completely shut down offensively for over four minutes to begin the period, but a 7-2 run by the Rams midway through the frame helped them widen the gap once again. However, Carleton clawed back to even the game in the final minute thanks to sharpshooter Steph Carr, who buried a three to make it 27-27. Ryerson's Kellie Ring gave her team a two-point advantage soon after, but her foul committed on Raven Jenjen Abella (Hamilton, ON) 90 feet away from the Rams' basket allowed Carleton's point guard to tie the game up from the free throw line, as the team's entered the intermission tied at 29.

It was a back-and-forth third quarter that saw the Ravens and Rams exchange the frontrunner position a handful of times.  Ryerson's Cara Tiemens caught fire from the floor, knocking down several shots and finishing the period with eight points. The Rams held a four-point margin for the majority of the quarter, but Carleton would remain in striking distance thanks Catherine Traer's effort on both ends of the floor. The fourth-year forward went off for eight points in the third as well, and her last-second rebound and put back as time expired in the quarter had the Ravens trailing by only two as the game reached the fourth.

An intense ten minutes of basketball followed as Nicole Gilmore (Hamilton, ON) tied the game at 49-49 early in the fourth. Catherine Traer came up with the defensive play of the game when she chased down her mark before coming up with a massive block that received a loud roar from the Ravens fans. In a tight final five minutes of regulation time, Jenjen Abella nailed a shot from beyond the arc to give Carleton a 58-56 lead, but Emma Fraser replied to make it 58-58. The Ravens came agonizingly close to winning it late, missing three consecutive shots within five feet of hoop, before Brianne Hamilton (Mississauga, ON) came up with a block on the defensive end on the final play of regulation to help send the game into overtime.

Despite battling through a taxing 40-minute tug of war with Ryerson, Carleton came out flying in the extra session, grabbing a commanding eight-point edge over the Rams, 68-60, with two minutes left in OT. Ryerson reduced the deficit to five, but Elizabeth Leblanc's jumper with just over 30 seconds remaining finished off the Rams for good to end the marathon.

The Ravens shot 32.3% (21-65 FG) in the game, which was slightly better than Ryerson's 31.9% (22-69 FG) effort from the floor. Carleton showed great fight on the inside by winning the battle of the boards, 40-37, over the Rams, who entered the game as the conference's leading rebounding side.

Carleton's Elizabeth Leblanc had a double-double performance with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while teammate Jenjen Abella finished with 10 points, six rebounds and five assists in 41 minutes of floor time.

Ryerson was guided by Sofia Paska's 19 points and nine rebounds.

The Ravens look to finish off the regular season with an 18th consecutive win on Saturday, as Carleton hosts the University of Toronto at the Ravens' Nest starting at 6 p.m.

Source: Carleton Ravens

Gee-Gees bounce back in win over Toronto

The Gee-Gees women's basketball team bounced back to take a 63-57 over Toronto in the second to last game of the regular season. It was a battle tonight as the Gee-Gees came from behind not once but six separate times to take the win in the end. Sarah Besselink had a huge second half finishing with a regular season career high of 23 points along with seven rebounds.

 "She stepped up in the second half. She got good looks and made them," explains Ottawa head coach Sparks on Besselink's performance.

Keyira Parkes finished with a team high of 11 points for Toronto, supported by Sarah Bennett with 10. 

The Varsity Blues took a small lead to start tonight's game, playing uOttawa point-guard McAlear-Fanus tight to force turnovers, and double teaming Besselink. Toronto went on a run mid-way through the first quarter stretching the lead to eight points thanks to point guard Keyira Parkes' three-point shooting. Ottawa veteran Julia Soriano responded by sinking back to back three-point shots.

The Gee-Gees battled back in the second quarter to close the five-point gap. Soriano, like a bolt of lightning, got the board and the basket over two Toronto defenders for a put back layup. Back and forth offensive surges from each squad caused several lead changes. uOttawa's offence then lulled allowing Toronto to create a six point gap. Sparks explains, "It really concerned me the way we came out. It was not a good half-time speech for the girls."

The Gee-Gees were able to turn it around in the third quarter as they fought back to tie the game at 35-35. Danielle Marion played big early in the quarter; in under a minute she had two offensive rebounds, a steal, a block and a bucket. Besselink's three-point shooting gave Ottawa a five point lead. 

Toronto pushed back closing the gap to one but was unable to stop Besselink once her offence got going. "She's a fourth year player and you expect them to step up, and I thought she did in the second half," explains Sparks. The Kingston, Ont. product was 5-for-9 on the night from downtown.

The uOttawa defence improved immensely at the start of the fourth quarter as the Gee-Gees limited Toronto to two points in over four minutes while Kellie Forand's steal created a fast break which was finished by Jen Crowe with an easy layup off the glass. In another fast break Julia Dostaler found Amélie Hachey, who faked out a flying Toronto defender for two points.

Toronto put pressure on uOttawa's lead and closed the gap to three points in the final minutes. In true veteran style, Melina Wishart and Besselink sank key shots to guarantee the win for uOttawa.

Source: uOttawa Gee-Gees

Wolves dominate Warriors 61-41

The Lakehead women's basketball team (8-10) took down the University of Waterloo Warriors (5-14), 61-41 tonight in the Thunderdome.

The Thunderwolves dominated the Warriors in the first quarter, starting off on a 10-0 run. The 'Wolves continued their lead and finished off the quarter with a 19-6 lead.

Waterloo bounced back in the second quarter with a quick 8 point swing and outscored the 'Wolves 19-11 that put the Warriors down only 5 going into the half at 30-25.

Lakehead put on a pressure defence in the third quarter that the Warriors struggled with. The Thunderwolves held the Warriors to only 4 points in the third quarter. The 'Wolves continued their strong defense for the rest of the game and scored 31 points in the second half, compared to Waterloos 16.

 "Super proud of Lily. She brought great energy and hustle and was by far our best player tonight. Rachel made a huge impact on the defensive end and overall we did just enough, just well enough on offense. Our defense was pretty good tonight. We had a blip in the second quarter but I thought our girls executed for the most part defensively. Laurier will be a tough test tomorrow, we will need to come ready to defend against a very good offensive team." – Coach Kreiner

Lily Gruber-Schulz led the 'Wolves with 20 points, 7 rebounds. Bridget O'Reilly was strong with 15 points, 6 rebounds and Rachel Webber had 8 points, 5 steals. Jerika Baldin dished out 8 assists and 10 rebounds. 

The Thunderwolves will host the Laurier Golden Hawks tomorrow at 6:00pm in their last home game of the regular season where they will also honour their graduating seniors. If the Thunderwolves can pull off the win tomorrow night, they will host a preliminary playoff game next Wednesday.

Source: Lakehead Thunderwolves

Thunderbirds pick up third win with victory over Voyageurs

In their second last game of the season in the GLC, the Algoma Thunderbirds picked up their third win of the season against the Laurentian Voyageurs. Algoma jumped out to a lead early on and never looked back, winning, 66-52.
 
Karly Fracalanza led Algoma in the win with 12 points and 5 rebounds. Jamerka Martin had 11 points and Karissa Kajorinne had 10 points.
 
Algoma shot 40 per cent from the field and 89.2 per cent from the line.
 
Kayla Deschatelets had 16 points for the Lady Vees.

"I thought tonight we really grinded it out," said Head Coach Ryan Vetrie. "We stayed together during the stretches when things weren't going right. I'm proud of the way we handled ourselves tonight."
 
Algoma has their final game of the regular season tomorrow evening in the GLC at 6:00pm against the Nipissing Lakers.

Source: Algoma Thunderbirds