It’s often said that basketball is a game of runs, and nothing proved that more than Saturday’s MCAC women’s basketball final.
Back-and-forth went the #2 College Wesmen and the #1 Red River Rebels. It could’ve been expected: the two teams only finished two points apart in the standings, and had split their regular season series.
The difference in this game, though – with a title on the line – was the interior play of the Rebels, as they snagged 24 offensive rebounds on their way to eking out a 69-65 win.
For the Rebels women, it’s their second straight championship. Forward Tia Ruddock, who had 19 points and six boards in the contest, was named tournament MVP for her efforts.
Coming out of the gate, it was a brilliant second quarter from Red River that may stand to be the turning point. Leading by three after the first, forward Brittany Adrian came off the bench for the Rebels and had three offensive put-backs in the frame. Adrian would finish with 10 points and 15 boards, 11 of those rebounds on the offensive glass. Her play spurred the Rebels on a 21-6 run to close the half, and gave them a 15 point lead at halftime.
Up to the task of responding, the College Wesmen came out in the second half on a 9-1 run of their own, thanks to the play of forward Kate Dorrian inside. Dorrian and Brittany Rosenfelt proved to be a powerful one-two punch for Winnipeg, with 28 points and 15 rebounds between them, but neither could stay on the floor consistently due to foul trouble.
When the two did stay on the floor together, their effect was obvious – the College Wesmen went on another 12-0 run to finish the third and start the fourth to take a one point lead.
The Rebels continued to respond, though, as guard Cece Luckwell got hot – hitting a three, getting fouled on another, and scoring on a fast break to put her team back up eight. Her 20 points on the night led all scorers, and her hustle plays late in the final, whether it was rebounds or steals, kept the College Wesmen at bay.
For Red River College, Brittany Adrian was named player of the game for her efforts on the glass. For Winnipeg, forward Brittany Rosenfelt was given the honours.
For full Stat Tracker stats, including box scores and individual/team numbers, visit the MCAC Basketball Final 4’s stats page here.
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