LENNOXVILLE — Alex Kiss-Rusk of Beaconsfield, Que., registered a “double-double” as the McGill Martlets, ranked No.4 in Canada, defeated winless Bishop’s 51-34 in women’s basketball at the Mitchell gym in Lennoxville, Saturday.
The victory, McGill’s 14th in a row over the Gaiters, improved their division-leading record to 12-1 atop the RSEQ standings. The winless Gaiters tumbled to 0-14. McGill’s magic number to clinch first-place for the fifth consecutive year is now down to one with three games left to play.
It was a dismal contest that featured a whopping 57 turnovers, 82 missed field-goals and eight missed free throws. It also marked McGill’s lowest offensive output in a win, dating back to a 44-34 decision over Concordia on Nov. 21, 2013.
“We won very, very ugly, didn’t play well,” admitted head coach Ryan Thorne, who has guided the Martlets to a 97-92 record in 189 regular season games over his 12 years behind the bench, including a 62-15 mark over the last five.”We came out stagnant and they did a good job of double-teaming us inside where our strength is and we didn’t play through it. We just tried to run sets and hoped our shots went in… We weren’t moving the ball well but once we started to turn up the defensive pressure, I thought we were much more successful in getting points off our defence… But the way we’re playing right now is not that of a championship calibre team. We just have to find a little more leadership, make sure we execute and be more disciplined.”
Both teams only scored four points in the opening quarter, which marked McGill’s lowest total in a span of 112 quarters during league play, dating back to a 44-33 win at Laval on Nov. 8, 2013, when the Martlets netted just three points in the third stanza.
The Gaiters actually led 15-13 at halftime before McGill awoke from their slumber, outscoring BU 19-4 in the third quarter and 19-15 in the final frame.
Kiss-Rusk posted game-highs with 13 points and 10 rebounds, making six of 17 shots from the field and one of two attempts from the foul-line. The 6-foot-4 sophomore centre added three blocked shots, a pair of assists and a steal.
McGill led in pretty much every important category, holding a 39-31 advantage in rebounds, a 14-11 edge in steals and a 5-3 margin in blocked shots. They did commit 27 turnovers, but the Gaiters even topped that with 30.
Leading the Gaiters was Danielle Lumley and Eloise Katz with eight points apiece. Lumley also led in rebounds with eight.
McGill shot 32.8 per cent from the floor (19/58), drained only one of 13 treys and went 12-for-18 from the free-throw line, compared to BU, which shot 23.2 from the field (13/56), 14.3 from the arc (2/14) and 75.0 from the line (6/8).
The Martlets will host UQAM on Feb. 19 (6 pm) and can clinch the regular season pennant with a victory over the second-place Citadins (10-3), who handed McGill their only loss of the season, a 76-71 overtime decision at Love Competition Hall on Jan. 29. The Martlets won the other two meetings, 60-48 on Nov. 13 and 57-55 on Jan. 31.
McGill Sports Info Office
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