Laval entered Saturday’s semi- finals with the hopes of returning to national championship game for second time in three years. The Gee-Gees entered Saturday’s semi-finals with the hopes of program history of advancing to it’s first national championship game. The game saw 15 lead changes and game was tied eleven times. Laval in the end prevail to 60-56 victory.
From the moment,the game started you could already tell that it was going to be a great one as in the first few minutes of the game, both teams traded baskets. Laval led 10-13 after the first quarter.
In the second- quarter, Laval at one point led by 10 points, 24-14 with two minutes left in the first half. Gee- Gees with their gritty style clawed the way back led by second- year forward Bridget Lefebvre- Okankwu who knocked down back-back jumpers. The Rouge et Or at halftime led by one point,24-23.
The third quarter was exciting to watch as both teams similar to the first quarter traded shots and continue to tie the game. The third quarter saw the game being tied eight times including heading into the final quarter at 42.
The final quarter saw both teams trying to open up a big lead to close out the game. Gee- Gees kept up going up by two points in midway part of the quarter. The game complete changed with four minutes left when Laval’s fifth- year arriere Claudia Emond knock down a three-pointer. After that three, Laval took control of the game knocking down it foul shots to close out the victory. To
Laval two weeks ago in it RSEQ semi- final game was challenged by UQAM Citadins. The veteran leadership in that game and this one played a huge role down the stretch.
“3-4 minutes left, we been there before two weeks ago and we handled it perfectly and we are going to do the same thing,”. Rouge et Or head coach, Guillaume Giroux told his players. We are going to be calm and share the ball and play together and that what they did,”.
Ottawa Gee- Gees head coach, Andy Sparks in his postgame interview spoke about some tough calls made in the later part of the game.
“It just felt like ,we had couple of bad situa,,,tions happen to us down the stretch but the nature of the game. I’m not blaming anything for it, just some tough calls made down the stretch,”.
Laval defense led by U Sports defender player, Khaleann Caron-Goudreau was fantastic. She had seven defensive rebounds and ten blocks in the victory.
“My game is defense and I take to heart, it is something I love to do,” Goudreau said.
Laval’s fifth-year forward and Nan Copp award winning, Sarah- Jane Marois was the leading scorer in the game with 20 points.
“ She stepped up for us, she fought and drove to the basket hard,” said Giroux.
Ottawa Gee- Gees leading scorer was Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu. She had double- double with 17+10 rebounds. With Laval advancing to national championship game, Giroux expects it to be a tough matchup.
“At the end of tournament, everyone is banged up, everyone is tired. It’s going to be honour and fight, you have to win for your program, university and yourself,”.