QUEBEC CITY– Dianna Ros scored a team-high 15 points and Mariam Sylla added a baker’s dozen as the No.2-ranked McGill women’s basketball team used a strong fourth quarter to prevail 74-62 in a tough road game against Laval at the Centre PEPS, Thursday.
McGill, which improved their unblemished league record to 7-0, has now won 15 in a row over Laval and have only lost once in their last 17 contests against RSEQ opponents, dating back to last season.
Ros, a 5-foot-7 senior point-guard from Montreal, played a game-high 36 minutes and was impressive in all facets of the game contributing seven assists, five rebounds, two steals and a block.
“Ros is a top perimeter player on this program,” said McGill head coach Ryan Thorne. “So she has the freedom to attack and make decisions and tonight I feel like she didn’t think too much and (as a result was) very successful.”
Sylla, a 6-foot-1 all-Canadian forward from Guinea, had another one of her patented efficient outings despite being double-teamed for most of the soiree. She went 5-for-8 from the floor and made three of four attempts from the free-throw line. The pharmacology junior also pulled down eight rebounds to go along with an assist and one block. She leads the RSEQ conference in rebounds and ranks fourth in the nation with a 10.7 average per game.
In a game that featured 11 lead changes, it was a dominant 23-10 fourth quarter that pushed McGill over the top. Laval hung with the Martlets as long as they could and found themselves tied 17-17 after the first quarter and 37-37 at halftime. The Rouge et Or even took a 52-51 lead early in the final frame before McGill put their foot on the gas and went into cruise-control mode with a text-book winning finish.
“We made some key adjustments,” mentioned Thorne of the fourth quarter. “Alex Kiss-Rusk really got us started as they did not double team her in the paint and after that, we started to run and things opened up.”
Kiss-Rusk, a 6-foot-4 centre, collected eight points on 4-for-6 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds and an assist in 24 effective minutes of court-time.
Three players reached double-digit figures for Laval. Genevieve Derome, Raphaelle Cote and Jane Gagne scored 16, 12 and 11, respectively.
Laval had a 37-34 edge in rebounds but McGill held a 20-14 advantage in turnovers that translated into a 21-10 difference on the scoreboard.
The Martlets bench had yet another strong performance, out-pointing Laval by a 36-28 margin. Jennifer Silver, a sophomore forward from Montreal, had 13 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block. Marika Guerin, a freshmen guard from Sorel, Que., continued her strong play, putting up 11 points and four rebounds. Junior Marie-Pier Bastrash, who was playing in only her third game of the season after sitting out the first semester to focus on medical school, added nine points, a pair of steals, one assist and a rebound.
McGill shot 46 per cent from the field (29/63), went 4-for-17 from the arc and sank 12 of 18 from the line. Laval shot 34.8 per cent from the floor (23/66), went 6-for-20 from beyond the arc and made 10 of 15 attempts from the line.
The Martlets (7-0) sit alone on top of the RSEQ standings and will face Laval (3-4) in a rematch, at Love Competition Hall this Saturday (Jan.17) at 6 p.m. The game will be webcast live online at SSN Canada.
|RSEQ STANDINGS (updated)|