Varsity Reds Push No. 1 McGill In CIS Loss

Varsity Reds Push No. 1 McGill In CIS Loss

QF 3: 2016 ArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS Women's Basketball Championship

By Mike Gange for CIS

(FREDERICTON, NB) When the number one team meets number eight in an eight-team tournament, the outcome is usually a foregone conclusion. But, when the McGill Martlets took on the UNB Varsity Reds in the third quarter-final game of the 2016 ArcelorMittal-Dofasco CIS Women's Basketball Championship, UNB didn't show any signs of quitting. The VReds tied the score on three separate occasions, and went into the half trailing 34-32.

Even with 2:30 to go, it was a one-point game. That's when McGill finally put the pressure on, winning the game 58-52.

McGill team leader, Dianna Ros was on the floor for 30 minutes, and scored 11 points to lead the Martlets. She said playing in front on UNB's home crowd, a noisy, boisterous capacity crowd numbering nearly 1700, was nerve wracking.

"The intensity of the game was no surprise. It's a hostile environment, and we were nervous. It is great to get this win," she said. "We never take any team lightly, and UNB brought a good game tonight."

McGill coach Ryan Thorne was pleased with the win. "UNB is a well coached team, and they got the crowd behind them, that helps too, like a 6th player. A team like UNB brings lots of grit," he said. On Wednesday, the 41-year old Thorne received the PETER ENNIS/TIMEX coach of the year award.

"The turning point for us was when we went back to grinding it out," said Thorne. "We didn't follow all the details in our game plan and UNB took advantage of that. But our key players like Dianna Ros took over, and showed leadership and maturity. It's her last year, and she just has no desire to quit.

Grace Wade scored 15 points for the Varsity Reds, who will now play in the consolation pool tomorrow. 

"I'm disappointed, of course, but in this game we knew we belonged in this tournament. The crowd was a spark, for sure, a good thing to have behind us," said Wade. "At half time, all our comments were positive, we knew we were in this and could win this. "

The CIS championship trophy for women's basketball is the Bronze Baby. The trophy has been emblematic of women's basketball supremacy for nearly 100 years.