CIS women’s basketball Friday roundup: Windsor, Ryerson, UBC, Saskatchewan headed to CIS Final 8

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Mar 06, 2015

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Lakehead 31 Windsor 57 Final Box Score | Recap
OUA Semi-Final #1

Source: OUA Communications

WINDSOR, Ont. – The Windsor Lancers women’s basketball team is going for a third consecutive OUA title after defeating the Lakehead Thunderwolves 57-31 in the OUA semifinal.

After amassing a 15-8 lead over No. 9 Lakehead in the first quarter, the No. 1 Lancers essentially put the game away in the second quarter, outscoring Lakehead 20-2 in the frame.

Lakehead was dealt a tremendous blow in the middle of the second quarter when OUA Player of the Year and the CIS leading scorer Jylisa Williams left the game and did not return after colliding with Windsor’s Emily Prevost.

Williams had all 10 of Lakehead’s points at the time, and the team did not hit another field goal until a Cassandra Soulias three-pointer midway through the third quarter.

For Windsor, playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, the team dominated in all facets of the game.

Lancers guard and OUA Defensive Player of the Year Korissa Williams led all scorers with 21 points and took home the Porter Airlines Player of the Game. Jylisa Williams, despite leaving the game, led Lakehead with 10 points.

As a team, Windsor out-rebounded Lakehead by a 53-24 margin, out-scored them 32-10 in the paint, and scored 20 second-chance points to Lakehead’s four.

It is the Lancers sixth OUA championship in seven seasons, and the team now receives a berth in the CIS Final 8 for the seventh consecutive season. Windsor is trying to become only the second in team in history to win five consecutive CIS national titles. Currently, the mid-70s Laurentian Voyageurs dynasty is the only team to accomplish the feat.

“As far as our program is concerned, we are happy to have qualified for the CIS championship for the seventh straight season,” said Lancers coach Chantal Vallee. “It’s a testament to all the players who have been here before, the winning culture of our program, and where we are heading in the future.”
Windsor will meet the winner of the second OUA semifinal between the No. 7 Ryerson Rams and Queen’s Gaels.

Queen’s 60 Ryerson 69 Final Box Score | Recap
OUA Semi-Final #2

Source: Ryerson Sports Info

WINDSOR, Ont. – The Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team is headed to its first ever OUA Championship game and with a 69-60 semifinal victory over Queen’s on Friday night, are also off to their first-ever CIS Final 8 tournament.

First-year Ryerson forward Sofia Paska (Etobicoke, Ont.) had a game-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting and added six rebounds to lead the Rams on Friday. Fellow freshman Cara Tiemens (Newmarket, Ont.) was also instrumental in the win, scoring 12 points.

Friday’s semifinal marked the third time the Gaels and Rams met this season and the third time Ryerson came away victorious.

Ryerson built a 14-6 lead with 2:50 to go in the first quarter but Queen’s responded with the final five points of the frame to make it a 14-11 Rams advantage through ten minutes.

In the second, the teams traded the lead back and forth until a great hustle play from Chloe Mago to save possession sparked a run from the Rams. Her save led to a Paska hoop which gave the Rams a 29-27 lead which they never relinquished. At the half, Ryerson led 35-27.

Queen’s opened the second half with a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to just one at 35-34, but Ryerson responded with good defensive play leading to transition buckets. After the Gaels run, the Rams outscored Queen’s 21-5 to hold a commanding 56-40 lead after three quarters.

The Gaels began to chip away at the deficit and got down back to within seven at 67-60 with 1:30 to go but the comeback was too little, too late as Ryerson sealed the 69-60 victory.

When asked about what was said during the team’s celebration at centre court, fifth-year senior Annie Sokoloff could not hide her excitement.

“I’m pretty sure I said to (Keneca Pingue-Giles), ‘oh my god, we’re going to nationals, I’m going to cry’ (but) then it was ‘okay, we still have the OUA championship tomorrow’ so we’re focusing on that.”

“I don’t think it’s set in yet, to be honest,” said Ryerson head coach Carly Clarke following the game. “That was a tough battle. We’ve got nothing to lose (tomorrow) so we’ve just got to come out and play and be ourselves. If we can stay in the moment and enjoy it then I think we can make a game of it.”

Queen’s guard Jenny Wright finished with a game-high 18 points while Abby Dixon added 12 and Liz Boag had ten points in the losing effort.

The Rams will face the No. 1 nationally ranked Windsor Lancers in Saturday’s OUA Championship game. Tipoff is set for 6:00 p.m. from Windsor’s St. Denis Centre and can be seen live on OUA.tv.

Alberta 59 UBC 72 Final Box Score
Canada West Semi-Final #1

Vancouver, BC – The UBC Thunderbirds defended their home court as they defeated the University of Alberta Pandas in the Canada West semi finals on Friday night in War Memorial Gymnasium by a score of 72-59. The Thunderbirds advance to Canada West final and in doing so earn a ticket to the CIS National Championships at Laval University next weekend.

Third-year forward Kara Spotton had a breakout game for UBC, scoring a CIS career-high 21 points in 29 minutes of play. Spotton, in her first season with the Thunderbirds after using her first two years of eligibility in the NCAA, averaged 7.3 points per game throughout the regular season,

“My focus [tonight] was just to take it inside,” said Spotton, who shot eight-of-nine from the free throw line. “I got a lot of good passes from my teammates; they were looking for me, and my shots were going in.”

Spotton had by far her best performance in the season’s biggest game. Her play earned praise from teammate and fifth-year Harleen Sidhu.

“It’s great that Kara was able to step up,” said Sidhu. “For her to come out like this on this game is really huge for us.”

Sidhu, the Thunderbirds second leading scorer throughout the regular season, scored 17 points in Friday’s game.

“[Tonight] we just took advantage inside,” said Sidhu, who was recently named a Canada West Second Team All-Star. “We know that if we hammer it inside, and they try to take that away, it’s going to open up our guards on the outside. It makes us very hard to guard.”

It was truly a full team effort for UBC, with a few special individual performances highlighting the game. The Thunderbirds tallied assists on 16 of their 26 field goals, led in that category by second-year guard Cherub Lum’s six assists.

Although UBC’s leading scorer and Canada West Player of the Year in Kris Young was held to just six points, she was able to contribute in other aspects of the game, specifically on the defensive end.

“It just goes to show how deep a team we are,” said Young. “Other teams know that I’m a scorer, and they try to shut that down, but it’s impossible to shut down our entire team when we have so many different scorers.”

Young had three blocks, two steals, and pulled down six rebounds in a game-high 31 minutes, despite being forced to briefly leave the game in the second quarter with a gash above her right eye that required stitches.

Fourth-year guard Diana Lee contributed with 10 points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds through 27 minutes of play, including several key consecutive baskets in the third quarter to give the Thunderbirds an insurmountable lead.

“We took care of business,” said Young. “We just did what we’ve been doing, steadily getting better. This just showed how good we’ve gotten over the last term.”

After a defensive first quarter, with both teams aggressively denying the rim, the Thunderbirds led 10-9. A quick 5-0 run by Spotton to start the second quarter gave the Thunderbirds a six-point lead, a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game, and build to maximum of 22 points in the second half.

“I thought we could have put up a better fight than that,” said Alberta fifth-year Saskia van Ginhoven, who had seven points in a losing cause. “I guess they were just ready to go, and we weren’t.”

Van Ginhoven was named a Canada West First Team All-Star in her final season in the league.

Alberta, who was led by fifth-year Sally Hiller with 15 points, made a mid fourth-quarter push to make things interesting, but to no avail. A quick 7-0 run for the visiting team pulled them within 13 points at 59-46, but once again the Thunderbirds would stand tall. UBC would calmly and confidently hold on for the 72-59 win, and advancement to the Canada West Finals.

“Our coaches did a great job of scouting, and this entire week we were able to mentally prepare,” said Sidhu. “We knew what kind of physicality we were going to have to deal with, and I thought we did a good job of stepping up to it.”

Alberta’s physicality led them to take 22 personal fouls on the evening, putting UBC on the free throw line 20 times where they would make 17 of them.

“That was something that we wanted to take advantage of,” said Spotton of Alberta’s physical intensity. “We knew that they were going to foul, so we just hammered it inside.”

The victory is UBC’s 15th consecutive, as they still have yet to drop a game in 2015. They will advance to the Canada West final, which will take place on Saturday against the winner of the other semi final, Victoria versus Saskatchewan.

“We have to take care of what we can control,” said Sidhu. ” We have to play our game, our defense, and everything else should fall into place. As long as we can take care of our own business, we’ll be setting ourselves up for success.”

Members of the current Thunderbird squad last saw Canada West final action in 2012, where they defeated Victoria to earn a Canada West Championship.

Saturday’s gold medal game will commence at 7:00 p.m. within UBC’s War Memorial Gymnasium.

Victoria 61 Saskatchewan 77 Final Box Score
Canada West Semi-Final #2

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The University of Saskatchewan Huskies will have the opportunity to vie for their fourth overall and second-straight Canada West banner after dropping the Victoria Vikes, 77-61, in the conference semifinal on Mar. 6 at UBC’s War Memorial Gym in Vancouver. The Huskies will meet hosts UBC for Canada West gold, while both teams have now secured spots at this year’s CIS Final 8, hosted in Laval, Mar. 12-15.

Fourth year Kelsey Trulsrud led the Huskies with 19 points and 11 rebounds on the night. Canada West First Team All-Star and fourth year Dalyce Emmerson was unstoppable, with a double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds. Three others hit double digits including Laura Dally (18), Riley Humbert (10) and Kabree Howard (10). Saskatchewan out-rebounded Victoria 60-32.

It was a Hamilton, Ont. night for Victoria as St. Mary Catholic Secondary graduates Jenna Bugiardini and Amira Giannattasio were the lone double-digit scorers. Giannattasio put up a team-high 20 points, while Bugiardini dropped 18. The team logged only five turnovers but had no other player break more than seven points scored. It was a tough evening for fifth years Cassandra Goodis and Jessica Renfrew, who because of foul trouble, were unable to make their usual impact. It has been a long road for the senior duo, who will still have the opportunity to bring home a conference medal tomorrow.

It was all Huskies in the opening quarter as the reigning conference champions dominated in the opening minutes. Senior Kabree Howard put up seven unanswered points during a 12-0 run. The Vikes got on the board through the left hand of Bugiardini but were unable to push much past the defensive wall of six-foot-three Emmerson. Saskatchewan took a 21-10 lead entering the second.

Early on the Huskies showed their shooting form as two quick buckets from Emmerson kept Saskatchewan up by double digits for most of the quarter. Canada West Third Team All-Star Dally started to show why she was one of the conference’s top scorers putting up 10 points for the Huskies from all areas of the floor. The Vikes, however, did manage to chip away at the lead with the addition of Ashley McGinnis and Shaylyn Crisp on to the floor. Following a Dally three pointer Crisp, followed by McGinnis put up distance shots but the Huskies’ early damage kept the game at 43-31 entering half time.

A half time break proved effective for the Vikes as Nicole Karstein and Bugiardini came out firing and sparked a 10-0 run for Victoria to cut Saskatchewan’s lead to six points, 47-41, with under five minutes to go in the third. Dally and Emmerson continued to be a force to contend with under both hoops as the Vikes have just one key player, Karstein, breaking six feet. Saskatchewan led 58-46 entering the final frame.

In the fourth Saskatchewan continued their rampage with Trulsrud adding a late spark for the Huskies on route to out-scoring the Vikes 19-15. The Vikes had some key baskets from Giannattasio but were unable to make up for the early deficit. Karstein fouled out mid-way through the quarter, leaving Emmerson hardly guarded. Saskatchewan continued to drive the net eventually taking the game 77-61.

Up next the Vikes will face Alberta in the Canada West bronze medal game at 5 p.m., while the Huskies will face hosts, the Thunderbirds, for gold at 7 p.m. Both games will be played at War Memorial Gym in Vancouver and will be broadcast with live video and stats at canadawest.tv.

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