Ninth-ranked Gryphs edged in OT by second-ranked Ottawa

GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons showed they belonged breathing the rarified air of the top 10 in Canadian university women’s basketball Friday night.

The Gryphs suffered their first loss of the regular season as they were edged 77-74 by the Ottawa Gee-Gees at the Guelph Gryphons Athletic Centre. The Gryphs are ranked ninth in the country while the Gee-Gees are ranked second.

The Gryphs rallied in a thrilling fourth quarter to force the overtime. The teams had been tied 14-14 at the end of the first quarter before Ottawa grabbed a 31-26 lead by halftime. The margin grew to as much as 14 points in the third quarter although it was down to 12 (56-44) at the end of the quarter.

After Tyra Blizzard hit two free throws for Ottawa to push the lead back to 12 points at 60-48 with 7:09 to go in regulation time, the Gee-Gees went cold as they missed six consecutive shots. The Gryphs on the other hand were a little warmer as they hit half of their shots (6 of 12) to pull even at 60-60 with just under three minutes to play. Play was back and forth after that until Guelph’s Burke Bechard hit a jumper with five seconds to go to leave the score deadlocked at 66-66.

Neither team shot particularly well in the five-minute overtime as the Gryphs shot 2-of-7 from the floor and Ottawa was 2-of-6. The hosts did sink three of their four foul shots while Ottawa hit seven of their nine free throws as the hosts had to foul for a chance of getting the basketball back.

The Gryphs had five players in double figures in scoring as Bechard had 18, Ivana Vujadinovic had 14 and MacKeely Shantz, Skyler Minaker and Sarah Holmes each had 10. Shantz and Bechard each had 10 rebounds while Minaker had nine. Minaker had four assists and also had four steals as did Bechard.

Blizzard had 17 points for Ottawa while Katherine Follis had 14, Natsuki Szczokin had 11 and Alana Renon had 10. Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu had 12 rebounds while Szczokin had five assists and Angela Ribarich had two blocks.

The result leaves both teams at 4-1. The Gryphs are third in the West Division as they trail the deadlocked Western Mustangs and Windsor Lancers who are both at 6-1. Ottawa is second in the East Division that is led by the Queen’s Gaels who are at 5-2.

The Gryphs are to host another top-10 team Sunday when they’re to play the fourth-ranked Carleton Ravens (3-1) at the GGAC at 1 p.m.

 

Gee-Gees 77 Gryphons 74 (OT)
Ottawa     14-17-25-10-11–77
Guelph      14-12-18-22-8–74
 
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  • Guelph Sports Journal