The Gee-Gees women's basketball team erased an 11-point first quarter deficit, but couldn't keep pace with the number-two ranked Ryerson Rams as they fell 84-76 in the OUA semi-final Wednesday evening at Montpetit Hall.
"Our start was horrific," said women's basketball head coach Andy Sparks. "They're a shooting team and they just knocked it down. They really didn't give us the chance to finish the game strong."
Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu led the Gee-Gees with 17 points, Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus had a game-high 15 assists and Angela Ribarich collected ten rebounds. Rachel Farwell and Hayley Robertson did the damage for the Rams, notching 21 and 20 points, respectively.
Ryerson started the game hot, enjoying a 24-8 run, including seven first quarter three pointers. The visitors held an 11-point lead after the opening quarter.
Ottawa wasted no time chipping into the lead in the second quarter. The Garnet and Grey earned points on four of six possessions, moving within one point, while also figuring things out on defence and forcing three shot clock violations from the Rams. A Savannah Provo three-pointer at the buzzer gave the Gee-Gees their first lead of the game – 36-35 at the half.
The teams played it tight when they met in late January, with Ottawa squeaking out a two-point victory in Toronto and Wednesday's confrontation was no different. The Gee-Gees and Rams went shot-for-shot in the third quarter, with Ryerson holding a 56-53 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
A clutch three from Ryerson's Hayley Robertson inside the final two minutes put her team ahead by four and the Rams would ice the game at the free-throw line. Ryerson outscored the Gee-Gees 28-23 in the final quarter.
"I think our fifth years had the opportunity to get it done," said Sparks. "They've had a great season and a great run for their time here. We're proud of this group. We lost to a very good team today."
The Gee-Gees close their 2019-20 season with a 19-5 record in league play. Ryerson has clinched a spot in the 2020 U SPORTS National Championship, held in Ottawa from March 5-8. They will face the Brock Badgers in the Critelli Cup Final on Saturday, February 29.