Down by six after the first quarter, the University of Winnipeg College Wesmen women were getting beaten up inside.
Once the next period started, though, they began to punch back.
Facing a #3-seeded Providence Lady Freemen squad that beat them once in the regular season, and in a rare #4 over #1 upset in the tournament semifinals last year, the #2-seeded College Wesmen tightened up inside, and began to dominate on their way to a 57-40 win.
The key was the second quarter – where the College Wesmen outscored Providence 14-5 to grab control of the game.
After a big start from Providence post Crystal Harms, who snagged nine rebounds to go with four points in the first half, the College Wesmen responded with exceptional post play of their own. Forward Kate Dorrian made her presence felt in the second quarter, and guard Sonia Radi turned on her aggression. Dorrian would finish with 10 points and three rebounds, while Radi finished with a game-high 17 points, to go with four boards and two assists.
In the earlier semifinal, #1-seeded Red River College took on a winless squad in #4-seeded CMU. While the Blazers hung in early, the Rebels stifled them on defense with a deadly mix of full court press and 2-3 zone. Back-to-back threes from Rebels forward Tia Ruddock opened the lead to 13 in the first, and the Rebels never looked back – winning 83-49 when the dust settled.
Rebels guard Celecia Luckwell led all scorers in the semifinal with 17 points, to go with five boards and an assist. CMU forward Kathleen Klippenstein had a double-double in the loss, scoring 14 while snagging 12 rebounds. CMU guard Laura Tait put together a nice line as well, going 6-for-10 from the field for 12 points.
With both top seeds taking care of business, they’ll now meet in the women’s basketball final. Tip off is set for 2 p.m. on March 2.
The Basketball Final 4’s take place at The University of Winnipeg’s Duckworth Centre, in the Dr. David F. Anderson Gym. $5 gets you in for both women’s and men’s championship matches on Feb. 23.
For full Stat Tracker stats, including box scores and individual/team numbers, visit the MCAC Basketball Final 4’s stats page here.
Check out pictures from Friday’s basketball semifinals on our Facebook page.