By Bobby Mihalik
Humber Athletics Sports Information
ETOBICOKE, ON. – Day One of the 2018 OCAA women’s basketball championship at Humber College Athletic Centre in Etobicoke, Ont. continued Friday evening with the George Brown Huskies (15-2, 1st East) facing off against the Niagara Knights (14-6, 4th West) in the quarter-finals. Overcoming a rocky start and a 21-point deficit, the Knights pulled off a huge comeback and defeated the Huskies 75-72, advancing to the semi-finals.
The Huskies got off to an early 5-0 lead and protected it throughout the first quarter. Despite multiple attempts by the Knights to narrow the gap, twice coming within three points, the Huskies remained in control. The Huskies entered the second with a 30-13 lead, ending the first quarter with ten straight points.
The second saw both teams keeping pace with one another, both scoring seven through the first six minutes of the quarter. The Knights continued to challenge the Huskies, slowing their offence and succeeding in lessening their deficit by two points. Still, with their lead intact, the Huskies carried a 41-26 score into the second half.
The ground gained by the Knights was lost early in the third quarter as the Huskies started the second half strong, increasing their lead to 21 points. The Knights then struck back hard, scoring 12 straight points and bringing themselves within nine. From there the Knights would only improve, soon cutting the Huskies’ lead down to two, before finishing the third behind by four, 53-49.
Riding on their growing momentum, the Knights tied the game at 57 points apiece before gaining the lead for the first time with less than seven minutes left to go. Behind by six with less than four minutes remaining, the Huskies attempted to mount a comeback of their own, and soon the game was tied with 47 seconds left on the clock. Regaining the lead on two made free-throws with 15 seconds remaining, the Knights completed their incredible comeback, winning the match 75-72 and moving on to the semi-finals.
The Knights finished with a 32.1 field goal percentage (26-of-81) versus the Huskies’ 37.8 percent (28-of-74) but converted on 67.9 percent (19-of-28) of their free-throw attempts compared to the Huskies 60 percent (12-of-20).
The Knights’ comeback was led by Mary Ingribelli, who had 30 points and 14 rebounds for a double-double and was named the Player of the Game for Niagara. Courtney Kilyk had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Brooke Cesar had nine points and 13 rebounds.
The Huskies’ leading scorer was Tianna Sullivan, who scored 32 points and had seven rebounds and was named George Brown’s Player of the Game. Sherral Wilson had nine points and led her team with ten rebounds, while Ashley McDonald and Merrissa Moore had three steals each.
The Knights move on to the semi-finals, where they will face the winner of Game #4 at 8 p.m. on Saturday. The Huskies await the loser of Game #4 in the consolation round, with tipoff scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday.