U SPORTS Communications
REGINA – The No. 1-seeded Carleton Ravens took care of business in the opening game of the 2018 U SPORTS Women's Basketball Final 8 Championship in Regina, taking a 52-42 win in a defensive battle against the Calgary Dinos at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport on Thursday afternoon.
The Ravens' number one-ranked defence was impressive from the start, holding Calgary to just six points in the opening quarter. The Dinos began to find their rhythm in the second half, but Carleton conceded no easy baskets.
"Our defence was excellent today," Carleton head coach Taffe Charles said following the victory. "Calgary is a very good offensive team and playing against their concepts requires a lot of communication, togetherness and hustle and we definitely showed those things today."
Nicole Gilmore and Heather Lindsay scored in double figures for the Ravens, with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Defensive Player of the Year Elizabeth Leblanc chipped in with a game-high nine rebounds and added three blocked shots.
Carleton was paced by a pair of hot-shooting guards in the first half, as Gilmore knocked down two triples on her way to eight points and Cynthia Dupont came off the bench for a quick eight points.
The Dinos hit a rough patch over the end of the first quarter and start of the second, failing to score for a stretch that spanned over 10 minutes of game time. Liene Stalidzane sparked the Dino attack in the middle of the second with a pair of buckets, but a Stephanie Carr three pointer and a jumper by Heather Lindsay near the end of the second gave Carleton a 27-15 lead heading into the half.
Stalidzane was the lone Dino scorer to hit double digits with 10 points and seven rebounds. Erin McIntosh added eight points and eight boards as Calgary moves to the consolation side of the bracket and will play on Friday evening.
Carleton remains undefeated since the pre-season, earning a berth in a semifinal on Saturday afternoon against the winner of McGill and McMaster.
"The key for us is being healthy and getting rested in time for Saturday," Charles added. "Everyone's banged up at this time of year and it's about getting past those injuries mentally and being ready to perform at the highest level."
Players of the Game
Carleton: Nicole Gilmore
Calgary: Liene Stalidzane