For the first time since the Bronze Baby was given out in 1972 by CIAU, we will have an all- RSEQ finals between McGill Martlets and Laval Rouge et Or today at University of Victoria. Both schools have finished second at nationals, 2015- the Martlets lost to Windsor Lancers, 60-47 and Rouge et Or in 2002 lost to Simon Frasier Clan, 66-51. Both schools are looking for their first Bronze Baby trophy.
The Martlets and Rouge et Or met four times during the RSEQ season where both schools won two games apiece. Their last meeting was a thriller as the Martlets won 79-76 in double overtime. The Martlets had a record of 9-7 in RSEQ during the regular season while the Rouge et Or finished with a 14-2 record. The Martlets captured their sixth- straight RSEQ championship beating Concordia Stingers, 63-51. They made it to the today’s finals after they beat Regina Cougars, 72-62 in the quarterfinals and upset #1 seed and OUA champions, Carleton Ravens 66-60 in the semis. The Rouge et Or were upset by the Concordia Stingers in RSEQ semis, 69-65. They received wildcard for the final 8. They beat the defending Bronze Baby champions, Saskatchewan Huskies, 69-59 in the quarterfinals and beat Queen’s Gaels, 78-67 in the semis.
Keys to the game-
- Rouge et Or three-point shooting–
The Rouge et Or finished 2nd in U SPORTS for threes made per a game with 7.4 during the regular season. They averaged 23.6 attempts per a game (3rd in USPORTS). Lastly, they had 3PT Pct- 31.3 % (11th in U SPORTS). Claudia Emond led the team in threes converting on 24-70 attempts. The Rouge et Or in their win against the Huskies went 11/24 and had 3PT Pct- 45.8 %. Rouge et Or guard, Gabrielle Girard was 4/7 from downtown and scored a game high 17 points. The Rouge et Or begin their semi-final game against Queen’s Gaels making six three-pointers in the first quarter. They finished the game going 9/24 with 3pt Pct- 34.6 %. Emond went 4/7 from downtown and scored 17 points in the win. The Martlets held its opponents to 3pt percentage of 29.1 % during the regular season. You can expect that Rouge et Or will come out firing to start the game.
- Stopping Martlets guard, Frederique Potvin–
Coming into the final 8, Potvin averaged 5.8 points a game and scored 93 points in 16 games this season for the Martlets. She transferred from University of Pittsburgh this season where she appeared in 91 games in three years. Last season, she led the Panthers in threes with 46. She only made 16-61 three pointers and 3PT Pct- 26.2% during the regular season. Potvin in McGill’s first two games at nationals has been sensational. She was 4/7 from 3pt line and scored 20 points against the Cougars in the quarterfinals and against the Ravens in the semis, she was 3/5 from downtown and scored 16 points. Potvin could be the X-factor for Martlets this afternoon.
- Rouge et Or high-flying offence–
The Rouge et Or averaged 71.6 points a game (8th in U SPORTS) and scored 1,146 points during the regular season. They are led on offence by their first-team all- Canadian and RSEQ MVP, Jane Gagne. Gagne averaged 13.6 points a game and scored 218 points in 16 games this season. She made 82-177 of her shots. She convert 19-51 of her threes with Pct- 37.3%. Gagne at the final 8 is currently averaged 10.0 points a game and has scored 20 points. Another key offensive threat for Rouge et Or is Gabrielle Girard. Girard averaged 13.3 points a game and scored 212 points during the regular season. Girard at nationals is currently averaging 11.5 points a game and has scored 23 points.
- Alex Kiss-Rusk being dominant–
Kiss-Rusk is a big reason why the Martlets are where they are today. She averaged 14.1 points a game and scored 225 points during the regular season. She also had 145 rebounds. Lastly she had FG Pct- 48.3 % (13th in U SPORTS). Kiss- Rusk has taken the final 8 by storm as she’s averaging 18.0 points a game (3rd) and 36 points. She leads tournament in rebounds with 24. She also has 9 assists (2nd). If Kiss-Rusk continues to be great in the finals, it will be hard for the Rouge et Or to win.
- Defense wins championships–
The Rouge et Or held its opponents to 58.9 points a game and 34.9 % shooting (12th in U SPORTS) during the regular season. The Martlets held its opponents to 59.4 points a game and 34.1 % (7th in U SPORTS). The Rouge et Or averaged 16.0 turnovers per a game (9th in U SPORTS) while the Martlets averaged 21.6 per a game (40th in U SPORTS).
This game is likely going to be a good one. The RSEQ is guarantee to win its first Bronze Baby in 33 years since Bishop’s Gaiters won back to back in 1982-1984. The Bronze Baby was actually donated by McGill to the CIAU in 1972.