Gryphon hoops women rally then hold on to top Queen’s
KINGSTON – The Guelph Gryphons opened their OUA women’s basketball league’s regular season by holding on for a 78-73 win over the Queen’s Gaels Friday at the Queen’s ARC Gymnasium.
The Gryphs entered the fourth quarter trailing by two points (51-49), but took the lead for good when Ivana Vujadinovic hit a three-pointer two and a half minutes into the quarter to put Guelph up 59-57.
That basket started a 14-2 run for the Gryphs that saw them grab a 14-point lead with 5:29 to play. However, Queen’s to fold up shop as they responded with a 12-2 run of their own to close the gap back to a single point (72-71) with 2:16 to go. That was as close as the hosts were to get as they were forced to foul in an attempt to regain possession of the basketball. The Gryphs sank four of six free throws taken in the final 91 seconds of the game to secure the win.
The Gryphs hit 10 three-pointers in the game and sank 10 of their 13 free throws. The Gaels sank six three-pointers and hit 17 of their 25 free throws. While the Gryphs grabbed 46 rebounds to 34 for the Gaels, Queen’s collected 30 points off turnovers, 14 more than the Gryphs. Guelph players had a total of 11 second-chance points.
The game was a back-and-forth affair with the lead changing 10 times.
Guelph had four players hit double figures in scoring – Vujadinovic had 18 points, Burke Bechard 16, Skyla Minaker 14 and Reece Mungar 12. Sarah Holmes added nine. Bechard had 12 rebounds while Minaker had nine and MacKeely Shantz had eight. Shantz also had four assists and two steals.
Emma Ritcey collected 18 points for the Gaels while Julia Chadwick had 13 and Michelle Istead netted 10. Chadwick also had nine rebounds while Ritcey had nine assists, three steals and two blocks.
While the game was the first of the season for the Gryphs, it was the third for the Gaels who had won their previous two outings.
This season the league has switched to three divisions with the Gryphs in the West Division along with the Algoma Thunderbirds, Laurier Golden Hawks, Waterloo Warriors, Western Mustangs and Windsor Lancers.
Queen’s is in the East Division with the Carleton Ravens, Laurentian Voyageurs, Nipissing Lakers, Ontario Tech Ridgebacks and Ottawa Gee-Gees.
The Central Division consists of the Brock Badgers, Lakehead Thunderwolves, McMaster Marauders, Ryerson Rams, Toronto Varsity Blues and York Lions.
Each team is to play two games against each team in its own division and one game against each team in the other divisions.
Top three teams in each six-team division will qualify for the playoffs along with the three teams with the best records of the remaining teams. The three first-place teams and the best of the rest will get byes in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Gryphs are to host York (1-1) in their home opener Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre.
Gryphons 78 Gaels 73
- Guelph Sports Journal