Written by Taylor Prichard, Sports Information
Photo by Valerie Wutti
(OTTAWA, ON) — The Carleton women’s basketball team wasted little time getting going on Saturday night, as the Ravens (8-4) brewed up an offensive storm to knock Queen’s off its pedestal for an 86-66 win at the Ravens’ Nest.
Carleton used a terrific shooting performance – 33 of 69 (47.8%) – throughout the contest to guide them to an upset of the Gaels (9-4, CIS No.10). Sophomore Nicole Gilmore (Hamilton, ON) and third-year guard Stephanie Carr (Stittsville, ON) both scored a season-high as the two finished the game with 18 points apiece.
“It was great to see Nicole step up the way she did tonight,” reflected head coach Taffe Charles following his team’s eighth victory of the regular season. “As for Steph, she’s a good shooter and she’ll put the ball in the basket if you give her the time and space.”
“Both of them certainly deserve some credit for the win.”
Carleton got off to a blazing start to open the game, as Gilmore owned the hot hand in the early stages, posting 10 first-quarter points. The Ravens were in the zone as they led 25-12 after one.
The team continued to score at will against the Gaels in the second frame. Carleton forward Elizabeth Leblanc (London, ON), who hit 3 three-pointers against York the previous night, buried three shots from beyond the arc in the first half against Queen’s. The Ravens went 6-12 (50%) from downtown in the first two quarters, helping them establish a 43-28 lead at the intermission. It was the Ravens’ highest scoring first half of the season.
“We started very confidently, and we put Queen’s behind the 8-ball early on,” said Charles, whose team was on fire through the game’s opening twenty minutes. “We made some shots and we executed well against the zone.”
Following a lengthy halftime break that featured the finals of the Bell NBA All-Star Skills Challenge, the Ravens continued to pile on the points in the third. Natasha Plaskacz (Chelsea, QC) and Heather Lindsay (Ottawa, ON) kept the flow going with several baskets to start the quarter, followed by a Steph Carr 3-pointer at 1:09 remaining in the third to give the Ravens a 26-point lead, their largest of the game. They would take a generous 63-39 advantage into the final frame.
The Gaels finally saw some of their shots drop in the last quarter, as the team went for 26 points in the fourth. However, their effort was overshadowed by Carleton’s dynamic offensive clinic as the Ravens would hold on for a 20-point win in their top scoring game of the season.
Queen’s received a strong performance from its reserves, as Marianne Alarie scored 17 of the Gaels’ 32 bench points. Sarah Saftich added 10 points in fourteen minutes off the pine.
The Gaels entered this evening’s game averaging 45.7 rebounds per contest, but the Ravens effectively limited the visitors from getting to the glass, as Queen’s only finished the game with 32 compared to 43 from Carleton. The Ravens limited the CIS’ leading rebounder, Gaels forward Robyn Pearson (12.0 RPG), to only 4 boards and 2 points total.
Queen’s leading scorer, Jenny Wright, was held to 4 points thanks to the defensive work of Elizabeth Leblanc.
“Elizabeth’s defensive effort this weekend was one of the major factors in the team’s success, so that can’t be overstated,” added coach Charles.
Carleton’s Nicole Gilmore added 10 rebounds – a team best on the night, as well as a regular season high – along with dishing out 5 assists. Steph Carr finished the game with 18 points on 5-10 from the floor including a perfect 3-3 from 3-point range, while forward Heather Lindsay finished 17 points (8-13 FG) and 8 rebounds, just two boards shy of another double-double.
The Ravens now ride a 3-game unbeaten run into their massive Capital Hoops Classic showdown with the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Friday, February 5th at the Canadian Tire Centre. Following a loss to U of O on January 16, the Ravens will be looking for payback in their regular season rematch.
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
#13 Nicole Gilmore – Guard – 2nd year – Hamilton, ON
Carleton vs. Ottawa (MBNA Capital Hoops Classic) – Friday, February 5, 2016 – 6 p.m. – Ottawa, ON (Canadian Tire Centre)