SARNIA, Ontario — Nobody is safe in the OCAA, not even the top-ranked teams.
Last week, the Sheridan Bruins were knocked off by the Redeemer Royals on the men’s side of things in the OCAA. The Bruins came into the week as the top-ranked team in Canada, but fell to the fifth spot when the latest rankings came out on Tuesday morning. That game featured 14 lead changes and five ties in the fourth quarter alone, but the Bruins’ comeback efforts fell just short.
On Tuesday night, the top-ranked team in the OCAA on the women’s side put their ranking on the line at home, and they suffered the same fate that the Bruins did a week ago.
The Fanshawe Falcons came into the week as the top-ranked team in the OCAA, and they were ranked second in the CCAA rankings, trailing only the Dawson Blues for the top spot. Fanshawe welcomed the St. Clair Saints to town in Tuesday night’s marquee game, and it did not disappoint.
St. Clair went on the road to London and came away with an 11-point win, 78-67, ending Fanshawe’s bid for a perfect season and likely knocking them out of the top spot in next week’s OCAA rankings.
Here’s a look at how St. Clair pulled off the win, and other highlights from Tuesday night’s action in the OCAA.
WBB: St. Clair Saints (#9) 78, Fanshawe Falcons (#1) 67
In Tuesday night’s marquee match-up, St. Clair stunned top-ranked Fanshawe on the road, handing the Falcons their first loss of the season, 78-67. The Saints led by seven points at the break, but the home side managed to cut the deficit down to a single point after outscoring the Saints by a 17-11 margin.
The fourth quarter saw the Saints put up 32 points to just 22 for the Falcons, stretching their lead to double-digits before the final buzzer.
St. Clair used a balanced offensive attack on the night, posting four players in double-figures in the win. Jana Kucera scored a game-high 19 points to go along with six rebounds, while Anna Ulicny had 18 points, four rebounds, and four assists in the win. Logan Kucera stuffed the stat sheet, posting 13 points, 10 assists, four rebounds, and five steals for the complete two-way performance.
Noor Bazzi came off the bench to chip in with 11 points in a winning effort.
For the Falcons, Mikhaila Wright posted a double-double of 16 points and 15 rebounds in a losing effort. Wright also added four assists and two rebounds in 30 minutes of action. Off the bench, Chuot Angou had 10 points and seven rebounds, but she committed eight of the Falcons’ 25 turnovers on the night.
Mary Ingribelli had 13 points of her own on the night, while Kaleigh Morris had six points and 10 rebounds, all of which came on the offensive end of the floor.
Fanshawe will look to bounce back on Saturday when they head on the road to take on Redeemer. As for St. Clair, they have a week and a half off before they return to the court on November 16th for a date with the Mohawk Mountaineers.
WBB: George Brown (#8) 74, Georgian 46
The eighth-ranked George Brown Huskies held down their home court against the Georgian Grizzlies, rolling to the 74-46 win to push their record to 3-1 on the young season,
With the loss, Georgian falls to 0-4 on the year.
A big first half for the Huskies propelled the home side to the win. They held the Grizzlies to just six points in the first quarter, and then George Brown recorded 30 points as a team in the second quarter to take a 44-17 lead into the half. Georgian was never able to recover, and they dropped their fourth straight game to start the season.
Kelsey Dunkeld led the way for the Grizzlies, posting 11 points and eight rebounds in a losing effort. For the Huskies, Tianna Sullivan recorded 26 points, four rebounds, and four steals in the win.
WBB: Durham (#3) 68, Loyalist 59
The third-ranked Durham Lords continued their strong start to the 2018-19 season, pushing their record to 4-1 with a 68-59 win at home over the visiting Loyalist Lancers. Durham maintained their hold on the top spot in the East Division with the win, pushing their winning streak to four games in the process.
With the loss, the Lancers have dropped two straight and sit at 1-3 on the year.
Loyalist took a two-point lead after the first quarter, as they didn’t look intimidated to be playing one of the top teams in the OCAA on the road. The Lords bounced back in the second frame to take a three-point into the break. In the third quarter, Durham pushed their lead to 11 points thanks to a 20-point quarter, and they never looked back. Loyalist put up a strong fight on the road, but fell short in the end.
Brittany Mason and Brianna Arichara had 14 points apiece and combined for 13 rebounds to lead the way for the Lancers. Emily Glendinning led all scorers on the night, posting 27 points to go along with four rebounds and three steals for the Lords.
MBB: George Brown (#1) 102, Georgian 58
In their first game as the newly-minted top team in the OCAA, the George Brown Huskies passed their first test on their home floor. The Huskies knocked off the visiting Georgian Grizzlies in convincing fashion, 102-58.
The win pushed the Huskies’ record to 5-0, while the Grizzlies fall to 2-3 on the season.
From start to finish, the Huskies were in control on Tuesday night. A big first quarter saw George Brown take a 28-16 lead after the first 10 minutes, and their lead grew to 53-26 by the end of the first half. The Huskies had things on cruise control throughout the second half, rolling to the 44-point victory to keep their winning streak intact.
Anthony Meggo had a solid night in defeat for the Grizzlies, recording 20 points, four rebounds, and five assists. The Huskies had five players score in double-figures on the night, including 14 points apiece from Liban Mohamed, Kingslee D’Silva, and Kevon Guiseppi-Mascoe.
MBB: Fanshawe (#7) 79, St. Clair (#8) 54
After their women’s team dropped their first game of the season earlier in the night, the Fanshawe men’s team exacted some revenge on the Saints. The Falcons used a big second half to pick up the 79-54 win over St. Clair to earn a split on the night for the home side.
The Falcons improved to 4-1 on the year, while the Saints sit at .500 with a 2-2 record.
It was a tightly contested first half on Tuesday night. The Falcons led by six after the opening 10 minutes, only to see the Saints overtake them and take a slim one-point lead of their own into the half. Something must have clicked in the locker room at the break, as the Falcons held the Saints to a combined 20 points over the final 20 minutes. Fanshawe scored 46 points themselves, and they cruised in the final frame to the 25-point win.
David Gomez led the Saints with 14 points in a losing effort, but was just 3-of-13 from the floor. Chris Parker continued his torrid pace this season, as he dropped 40 points on 16-of-28 shooting for his second game with 40+ points on the year.
– T. Bennett