Mar 13, 2015
Photo credit Yan Doublet
QUEBEC CITY (CIS) – In an exciting consolation match Friday night, the Alberta Pandas withstood fierce opposition from the host Rouge et Or at the PEPS Gym of Université Laval. In the end, the Pandas were too much, defeating Laval 62-50 at the ArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS Women’s Basketball Final 8 tournament in Quebec City.
Nose-to-nose for most of the match, both teams battled, but it was the Canada West bronze medalists escaping in the end. The Pandas, who lost in the consolation final last year, will have the chance to redeem themselves when they play Saturday at 4:30pm against the Ryerson Rams for the fifth-place game.
For the Rouge et Or, not only does the season abruptly ends after two defeats, but the program now closes the door on a page of history. Head coach Linda Marquis retires after 30 years and some 528 victories at the helm. It was a milestone highlighted by Pandas’s head coach Scott Edwards after the game.
“That was a very physical game, both teams competed really hard. Obviously Laval played their hearts out for Linda tonight and it was just a treat to be on the floor with them and be part of that special evening,” said Edwards. “It was almost one of those games that you are sad to win because I wanted to watch Linda coach tomorrow, but I’m proud of our kids, they battled hard and they found a way in the fourth quarter to find those extra points we needed.”
Caught in a whirlwind of emotions, Linda Marquis took the time to congratulate her players. “It was a great match, the girls played hard. We battled and scared a team that has been in the top four throughout the year,” said Marquis. “We rushed certain things because of our youth and inexperience, while their side capitalized when they had the chance.”
“It’s hard to say how I’m feeling right now, it’s too new. I’m not there yet in my head”, added Marquis.
Clearly playing with much less nerves than the night before, both teams put together strong first half performances. The Rouge et Or were first to strike as Jane Gagné brought the PEPS crowd to their feet with a three-pointer on Laval’s opening possession. Despite the big difference in physical advantage for the Pandas, Laval managed to defend well and ended the first quarter tied at 13.
The intensity level of both teams remained the same throughout the second quarter as neither team could manage a run. At the half, the host Rouge et Or held the advantage with a slim 24-23 lead.
Once the third quarter started it was clear that neither Alberta nor Laval wanted to give. The gap between both was never greater than three points with the score 38-38 after three. However, once the fourth quarter started, the rug started to slip from under the Rouge et Or. Alberta’s Saskia Van Ginhoven made her presence felt pulling down a game-high 14 rebounds, 9 offensive, all en route to the Pandas creating as much as a 15 point gap. By game’s end Alberta walked away with the 62-50 win.
LAV 13-11-15-12: 50
Points: Saskia Van ginhoven (15), Sally Hiller (12), Kendra Asleson (11)
Rebounds: Saskia Van ginhoven (14), Kendra Asleson (8)
Assists: Sally Hiller (3)
Player of the game: Kendra Asleson
Points: Raphaelle Cote (16), Jane Gagne (8), Genevieve Derome (7)
Rebounds: Raphaelle Cote (10), Jane Gagne (6), Gabrielle Girard (6)
Assists: Raphaelle Cote (2), Jane Gagne (2), Maripier Courchesne (2)
Player of the game: Claudia Emond
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS
Thursday, March 12
12:30 Quarter-final 1: No. 3 McGill 67, No. 6 Saint Mary’s 59
14:30 Quarter-final 2: No. 2 UBC 81, No. 7 Ryerson 59
18:00 Quarter-final 3: No. 1 Windsor 91, No. 8 Laval 57
20:00 Quarter-final 4: No. 4 Saskatchewan 70, No. 5 Alberta 63
Friday, March 13
18:00 Consolation 1: No. 7 Ryerson 76, No. 6 Saint Mary’s 60
20:00 Consolation 2: No. 5 Alberta 62, No. 8 Laval 50
Saturday, March 14
12:00 Semifinal 1: No. 3 McGill vs. No. 2 UBC (Sportsnet ONE / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
14:30 Semifinal 2: No. 1 Windsor vs. No. 4 Saskatchewan (Sportsnet ONE / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
16:30 5th-place game: No. 7 Ryerson vs. No. 5 Alberta (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
* The ENGLISH webcast of the semifinals & final are on pay-per-view basis. The French webcast is free.