The Capilano University Blues women’s basketball kept their medal hopes alive on Friday afternoon in New Brunswick, defeating the Medicine Hat College Rattlers 76-64 in the bronze quarterfinal at the CCAA Nationals. They now advance to tomorrow’s bronze semifinal, and a win there would advance them to the bronze medal match-up later on Saturday.
CapU had four players score in double-figures, and they shot a season-best 51.9 percent in the contest – while limiting Medicine Hat to a 28.0 percent mark. The Blues also were on point from beyond the arc, going 7-of-14.
The win comes after a tough overtime loss to #2-ranked Dawson College in last night's CCAA quarterfinal. "After a really close loss yesterday, I was really impressed how we were able to bounce back today," said head coach Ramin Sadaghiani. "Emotionally, it would have been easy for us to have a letdown, but we continue to stay resilient like we have all season and beat a solid Medicine Hat team."
The sharp shooting started from the get-go, as Emma Cunningham hit three threes in the opening frame to help Capilano build up a 20-15 lead after one. The Blues pushed their lead up to as much as nine in the second frame, but the Rattlers, the Alberta conference champs and the #3 seed on the A side of the bracket, clawed back and made it a three-point game at the half, 38-35.
With Medicine Hat down by two at the start of the third, a 10-0 run by Capilano helped them build a 12-point lead and put them on the path to victory. Reiko Ohama hit a three to make it 48-39 and force a Rattlers timeout, and then hit another out of the huddle to make it a double-digit advantage. CapU outscored MHC 18-10 in the frame, and carried a 56-45 lead into the final quarter.
The Rattlers made several short pushes throughout the fourth, but the Blues always had an answer to maintain a comfortable margin. Carmelle M’Bikata continued her strong play in the post, and three-pointer from Sherrie Errico helped restore a seven-point lead with under five minutes to play. On the defensive end, Capilano continued to not allow open shots, and stayed composed down the stretch to close out the 76-64 win.
Four Blues scored in double figures, with M’Bikata and Ohama each posting 16, Errico scoring 14 off the bench, and Cunningham recording 12. M’Bikata was named Capilano’s Player of the Game thanks to her double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, and she also tallied three blocks and a steal. Ashley dela Cruz Yip again had a strong game at point guard, dishing out 11 assists.
Capilano will now play the loser of tonight’s CCAA semifinal match-up between Humber College and Collège Montmorency at 10:00am ADT (6:00am PDT). The winner of that game will move on to the bronze final with a chance to finish the season with a medal. The game can be streamed online at http://ccaa.ca/sports/wbkb/championship/schedule/wbb2018.