SEMIFINAL #2: CIS women’s basketball championship
CALGARY (ISN) – For the third straight year, the Windsor Lancers are headed back to the CIS national championship game, courtesy of a wire-to-wire 81-71 victory over the host Calgary Dinos in the second semifinal at the CIS women’s basketball Final 8 at the Jack Simpson Gym.
Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wbkb/index
Windsor led by as many as 18 in a game that was defined by outstanding shooting and resilient rebounding on the offensive end. The defending champions grabbed 22 offensive rebounds to just 20 defensive rebounds for Calgary, winning the overall battle on that side of the floor.
It will be a battle of CIS heavyweights in the final Monday night, as the fourth-seeded Lancers will now tangle with the No. 2 UBC Thunderbirds for the right to take the Bronze Baby home. Windsor lost the CIS final to Simon Fraser in 2010 before winning it last year against Saskatchewan, while UBC is 6-1 in CIS championship games overall with three triumphs since 2004 including the last one in 2008.
The CIS championship game tips off at 7 p.m. MT, live on Shaw TV and SSNCanada.ca. NBA TV Canada will carry the game on a two-hour tape delay, beginning at 9 p.m. MT.
The Lancers jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter and held on from there, thanks to 40 per cent shooting from three-point land in the first half. Windsor finished the night shooting 46.2 per cent from the field, making up for an average 50 per cent performance at the free throw line.
Head coach Chantal Vallée was thrilled to be going back to the final.
“We’re very happy with the win – Calgary played tremendously well,” said the seventh year bench boss. “We tried to pull away, but they would always bring it back. It was an outstanding atmosphere tonight – we tried to be mentally tough and managed to pull through.”
On Saturday nights upset win over Regina, Calgary never trailed and used the crowd to their advantage for 40 minutes. Sunday, they never led and comeback effort after comeback effort was stymied by the Lancers.
On three separate occasions in the fourth quarter, the Dinos would bring the lead to within six on a three-point shot – twice by Jenna Kaye and and the third by Kiersten Hilton – but all three times a prompt Windsor response brought it back to a more comfortable lead.
Calgary forward Jessica Franz fouled out, and the tremendous Windsor inside attack in the fourth quarter ultimately sealed the deal for the Lancers, who got 16 points from first team All-Canadian forward Jessica Clemencon and 12 from forward Laura Mullins.
The star for the Lancers, however, was Miah-Marie Langlois, who poured in 21 points – including 14 in the first half. The CIS defensive MVP added six rebounds, five assists and three steals to her game-high point total, and was satisfied with the victory.
“This is what we’ve worked all year for” said the third year veteran. “We knew what we wanted, and it was just a matter of will and going after our goal.”
Tamara Jarrett was outstanding getting to the rim for 19 points and 10 rebounds, keeping the Dinos in the game numerous times with tremendous hustle and grit.
Saturday night’s star, Kaye, came on strong in the fourth quarter to finish with 17 points and four assists, while Hilton was excellent coming off the bench, connecting on 13 points.
Calgary will face the Ottawa Gee-Gees for bronze in the tournament’s penultimate game at 3 p.m. MT Monday.
With the tremendous Calgary crowd long gone from the Jack Simpson Gymnasium, head coach Shawnee Harle stood proud of her plucky eighth seeded squad, who gave the defending champions all they could handle after an emotional upset of the top-seeded Regina Cougars.
“I could not ask any more of our players,” said the 18-year coach. “There were two times in the second half where we were in danger of getting blown out, and we got it back to six both times.
“If you don’t get out-competed, you don’t get out-fought and you don’t get out-hustled – but get out-scored by a better team? I can live with that every day of the week.”
Scoring by quarter:
WSR 21-18-26-16: 81
Points: Miah-Marie Langlois (21), Jessica Clemençon (16), Laura Mullins (12)
Rebounds: Korissa Williams (8), Jessica Clemençon (7), Bojana Kovacevic (7)
Assists: Miah-Marie Langlois (5), Korissa Williams (5)
Player of the game: Miah-Marie Langlois
Points: Tamara Jarrett (19), Jenna Kaye (17), Kiersten Hilton (13)
Rebounds: Tamara Jarrett (10), Alex Cole (5)
Assists: Megan Lang (6), Jenna Kaye (4)
Player of the game: Tamara Jarrett