By Matt Vocino
The 2019 U SPORTS Women’s Final 8 has now come to an end.
The Rams were in action against the Acadia Axewomen, the Ottawa Gee-Gees were up against the Saskatchewan Huskies for the bronze and the gold medal game featured the top two teams in the country in McMaster and Laval.
Here’s a quick look at what went down:
Bronze medal game
Heading into halftime the Ottawa Gee-Gees we’re down 14 and it looked like the Saskatchewan Huskies were going to claim the bronze medal.
That all changed at the half, however, as the Gee-Gees came roaring back and in dramatic fashion, edged out the Huskies by a score of 63-62.
“The way we came out at half really changed the game,” said fourth-year guard Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus who scored 12 points. “It helped us gain confidence and momentum, and we got a great result out of it.”
In the third quarter, the Gee-Gees’ offence came alive as they shot 62 per cent in the frame, while limiting Saskatchewan to just 10.5 per cent from the field, erasing a 17-point deficit to take a one-point lead after 30 minutes.
Unlike the first three quarters, the fourth quarter would be a back and forth affair with both teams scoring 15 apiece.
Down 63-62 with only seconds left on the clock, the Huskies third-year forward, Summer Masikewich, found the ball with a chance to win but her shot bounced off the rim.
The comeback was complete. The Ottawa Gee-Gees would claim the bronze medal.
“To come out with a win at the end of my career means the world to me,” said senior Sarah Besselink, who led her team to victory with 13 points.
Gold medal game
In the championship game, history would be made as the No. 2 ranked McMaster Marauders would claim their first U SPORTS national championship title with a 70-58 victory over Laval.
“We believed we could do it,” said McMaster head coach Theresa Burns of the win. “It’s been the mindset all year. Then, as the year went on and we continued to build, we got better as it went.”
The national title game began with a low scoring first quarter as both teams battled defensively.
Midway through the quarter, both sides were even, but the Marauders would take a one-point lead after Hilary Hanaka scored on a layup to give McMaster an 11-10 lead after one.
In the second, Player of the Year Sarah-Jane Marios came alive, dropping 13 points in the frame, propelling Laval to a 33-27 lead entering the half.
The third quarter began with a strong start for the Marauders as Harper nailed a three, and Gates added a layup as McMaster cut the Rouge et Or’s lead to just one.
The Marauders would limit Laval to just 11.1 per cent shooting in the frame, allowing them to draw even with Laval at 44-44 when the third quarter came to a close.
In the fourth quarter, the Marauders came out surging scoring the first 7 points of the frame to blow the game wide open.
Laval would mount a comeback trimming McMaster’s lead to only one, but a late 11-2 run by the Marauders would eventually be too much for Laval to overcome.