The Varsity Blues women’s basketball team played the Carleton University Ravens on Friday — the number five ranked team in U SPORTS. They battled throughout the whole game, but were unable to prevent the strong Ravens offense in the final quarter.
The Blues jumped out to an early 13–6 lead in the first quarter, thanks in part to a pair of free throws and back-to-back three-pointers from Ellen Ougrinov. Toronto’s offensive rebounding served them well in the period, but they were unable to hit shots to close out the half, as Carleton went on an 8–1 run to close it out. The Blues were also unable to stop Alyssa Cerino, who had eight points in the quarter.
The Blues offense remained persistent into the second quarter, with first-year player Nakeisha Ekwandja driving into the paint and taking a foul, which was almost converted for an and-one, and hitting a free throw to open scoring in the second quarter. Ougrinov drove to the rim on a following possession and made a nice bounce pass to Nada Radonjic to convert the easy layup.
However, the Carleton offense quickly came alive, going on an 8–0 run and hitting two three-pointers in the process, forcing Toronto to call a timeout to stop the onslaught. Coming out of the timeout, there was no scoring and a few turnovers, but Carleton soon found their rhythm again, hitting another wide open three-pointer off of a kick-out pass. The Blues stopped the bleeding with a pair of free throws. Ougrinov hit a layup, and Mikhaela Ekwandja converted an and-one layup, to cut the Ravens’ lead to only two points.
Carleton’s offense came alive once again, this time on an 11–1 run. The Blues were able to get the final two buckets of the quarter, with a three-pointer from Ougrinov, and a layup from Sarah Bennett. Despite the runs that Carleton went on, the Blues were able to stay hang in there, and didn’t allow the score to stay out of reach.
It was a similar story in the third quarter as the Blues started hitting some of their mid-range jumpers, and brought the deficit to three points. Toronto kept the score relatively close, despite signs that Carleton might pull away with it. Ougrinov kept them in it with another three-pointer, and the Blues remained hitting their mid-range shots. The score was 47–42 to end the third quarter — well within striking distance for the Blues.
Despite their tenacity, the Carleton offense was too much for Toronto to overcome in the fourth quarter. Cerino once again started the run with two made layups, and later on made two free throws. The Blues were unable to continue hitting their shots, and mainly got their fourth quarter points off of free throws.
The final score was 72–54 for Carleton, as the Blues let the game get away from them in the fourth quarter.
Ougrinov was the Blues’ leading scorer with 21 points. She made four three-pointers and some key buckets, keeping the score close throughout three quarters. Mikhaela was the Blues’ leading rebounder with seven rebounds and five points — five of the rebounds coming off the offensive glass.
This loss brings the Blues record to 3-13, and 1-7 at the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.