On Saturday, January 21, the Varsity Blues women’s basketball team lost to the Ottawa Gee-Gees. This was the team’s first match against the University of Ottawa this year. Although it was a decisive win in favour of the opposing team, with a final score of 89–35, the Blues displayed resilience in a game predicted to be challenging.
The women’s basketball team has not won a match against the Gee-Gees since 2018, with seven consecutive losses.
In the first quarter, the Gee-Gees’ Brigitte Lefebvre scored a swift layup while Melina De Iulio continued the team’s streak with a three pointer. They quickly established the lead that would soon become the norm for the entirety of the game. As the gap in the first quarter increased, the Blues called for a time out. Unfortunately, the final score was 7–28 when the quarter concluded.
The second quarter started strong with the Blues’ number 11, Thuraya Abdul Hamid scoring for the team. However, the momentum fell through as the Gee-Gees’ players continued to score in a relentless barrage, while the Blues barely hung on. In a game littered with close calls and near misses, Varsity Blues players Sabrina Nero, Jada Poon Tip, and Hamid were the only ones on the scoreboard with three minutes left in the second quarter. There was a quick reversal in the tide, as a three pointer by Lauren Boers was accompanied by a steal and a layup by Nero. This raised the Blues’ score to 17–51.
After an excruciating beginning, U of T started to pick up the pace in the third quarter, making quick headway using a combination of layups and free throws in the first three minutes. Regardless of the team’s rising strength, all of their points were matched by the Gee-Gees players’ dominance in the paint offensively, and the Blues struggled to catch up.
The fourth quarter brought more trials and tribulations for the Blues athletes. U of T was given seven fouls, more than in any previous quarter, with the Blues’ Kaylee Williams suffering an injury toward the end. The team tried to make up for the large gap through strong defensive playing. Although largely unsuccessful, it was a commendable effort in a difficult game. The match ended with a score of 35 for the Blues and 89 for the Gee-Gees.
Coming up soon
The women’s basketball team returns to action against Western Mustangs on January 27 at the Varsity Arena. At their last matchup in 2020, the Mustangs took the win, but perhaps the coming game will offer the Varsity Blues a chance at redemption.