VICTORIA â€” The seventh-seeded Laval Rouge et Or charged out to a six-point lead in the first quarter and didn’t let go of the momentum, upsetting the No. 2-seeded Saskatchewan Huskies 69-59 on Thursday in their quarter-final game of the Canadian university women’s basketball championship.
“We hit a lot of really good shots down the stretch when they were coming back slowly,” said Laval head coach Guillaume Giroux. “We shot the ball well like we have done all year, so we are really happy about the result.”
The Rouge et Or advance to Saturday’s semifinal where they’ll face off against the Queen’s Gaels. Carleton will take on McGill in the other semi.
Laval never relinquished the lead after putting together a 37-26 advantage at the half.
As a team, the Rouge et Or shot 44.4 per cent from the field, just slightly better than the Huskies at 41.1 per cent. The best quarter for the team from Quebec came in the first, when they shot 60 per cent from the field and 50 per cent from beyond the arc.
Fifth-year guard Gabrielle Girard led Laval with 17 points on the day, followed by Genevieve Derome with 16 and Raphaelle Cote with 13 points. Cote was the strongest performer on the boards for Laval, falling just short of a double-double with nine.
Also Thursday, the Martlets advanced with a 72-62 victory over a resilient Regina Cougars team.
McGill, seeded fourth after winning the RSEQ championship, came in as the higher-ranked team, although the fifth-seeded Cougars gave them all they could handle. The teams entered the second quarter tied 16-16, before the Martlets stole the edge in the second quarter, outscoring Regina 20-14 on 61.5 per cent shooting.
The Cougars got within three points in the fourth quarter after entering the final frame down 49-40 but couldn’t overcome the hot-shooting Martlets.
Rookie guard Frederique Potvin led McGill with 20 points on 7-for-15 shooting from the field, knocking down four threes, while third-year point guard Marika Guerin, fourth-year centre Alex Kiss-Rusk and fourth-year forward Jennifer Silver each had 12 points for the Martlets.
The sixth-seeded Cape Breton Capers gave No. 3 Queen’s a test, but the Gaels prevailed, pulling ahead in the fourth quarter on their way to a 60-51 quarter-final victory.
Marianne Alarie led the Gaels with 14 points, adding three rebounds and an assist, while teammate Andrea Priamo chimed in with 10 points and six rebounds. Robyn Pearson and Abby Dixon each had 10 rebounds for Queen’s.
No. 1 Carleton earned its place in the semis with a 77-66 victory over eighth-seeded Victoria.
Guard Catherine Traer led the Ravens with 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting while forward Elizabeth Leblanc added 16 points.
The Canadian Press