OTTAWA, ON -- On the biggest stage of the season, the Carleton Ravens prevailed over the Ottawa Gee-Gees, 55-47, in the 10th edition of women's Capital Hoops Classic on Friday at the Canadian Tire Centre. The result also marked a monumental occasion for the Ravens, as the women's team established a new program record by winning its 14th consecutive game.
Third-year guard Nicole Gilmore (Hamilton, ON) starred in Carleton's triumph against cross-town rival uOttawa, leading her side with a career-high 19 points on a 7-of-11 shooting performance.
In similar fashion to their first meeting of the season on January 17, round two between the Ravens and Gee-Gees began with a drawn out first that had both teams trading baskets and players sacrificing their bodies for an early advantage. Carleton fell behind 8-5 midway through the quarter, but a late spurt by the Ravens provided them with a 12-8 lead heading into the second. Both teams shot under 30 percent after ten minutes of action, with Carleton (4-of-15, 26.7%) holding a slight edge over uOttawa (4-of-16, 25%) from the floor.
Carleton came out on fire in the second, opening up a eight-point lead early in the quarter thanks to a pair of three-point baskets by Jenjen Abella (Hamilton, ON) and Nicole Gilmore. The Gee-Gees trimmed the Ravens' lead to 24-19, but jump shots by Abella and Gilmore late in the frame saw Carleton enter the break up 28-19.
The Ravens held the Gee-Gees without a three-pointer in the opening half, as uOttawa went 0-for-6 from beyond the arc. Along with strong perimeter defence, the Ravens were also standing tall in the paint as fourth-year forward Heather Lindsay (Ottawa, ON) came up with two emphatic blocks down low.
It was much of the same in the third, as the Ravens rode a wave of momentum that saw them take a 37-19 lead before uOttawa was able to get on the scoreboard in the second half. The Ravens' defence held the Gee-Gees without a basket until the 4:29 mark of the quarter, thoroughly dominating the garnet and grey and limiting them to just four points in the period.
With the Ravens up double-digits, 43-23, to begin the fourth, Carleton never looked back on their way to victory. The Gee-Gees used an aggressive high press to begin the quarter, but the Ravens handled the pressure well and made a series excellent passing plays for easy scores. Although the Gee-Gees won the final period, 21-14, the damage had already been done in the first three quarters, as Carleton claimed in first season-series sweep of uOttawa since the 2009-10 campaign.
Jenjen Abella had one of her top scoring games of the season, as the fourth-year guard poured in 12 points (4-6 FG) while adding three assists.
Carleton won the battle of the boards, 49-36, and came out on top with 17 second-chance points compared to only eight from uOttawa.
Alone in first place in the OUA North division, Carleton faces its greatest challenge of the season next weekend as the Ravens visit the undefeated Queen's Gaels (15-0) in a game that could ultimately determine which university earns the right to host the OUA Final 4 weekend in March.
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:#13 Nicole Gilmore - Guard - 3rd year - Hamilton, ON
UP NEXT:Carleton at Queen'sFriday, February 10, 2017 - 6 p.m.ARC - Kingston, ON
2016-17 OUA Women's Basketball - Standings2016-17 OUA Women's Basketball - Carleton Ravens Team Stats
PHOTOGRAPHS BY VALERIE WUTTI: