Women’s Basketball News

Alaina McMillan and Courtney Donaldson combined for 40 points and nine made threes as the #3-ranked Saint Mary’s Huskies dispatched the host Alberta Pandas 65-62 in a thrilling wire-to-wire Consolation Final win, Saturday afternoon at Saville Centre. 

Schedule & Results

No team held a lead bigger than seven points as the squads were neck-and-neck throughout the contest. And while they were not separated by much, the largest factor in the Saint Mary’s victory was their domination of the boards, eventually finishing with a 51-to-39 rebounding margin (28-to-15 on the offensive glass). With that, they were able to record 15 more (75-to-60) field goal attempts which was the difference in such a tight game.

“It wasn’t the game we wanted to be in, but I’m proud the way we collected ourselves,” said McMillian “We knew we had to play big, grab rebounds, and play fundamental defence. And when we don’t play our best defence, we don’t play our best offence.”

McMillan and Donaldson impressed for Saint Mary’s scoring 21 and 19 points, respectively. The former specifically was phenomenal, recording two steals and six rebounds to help on the defensive end as well. Lucina Beaumont recorded a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) for the victors as well.

Alberta was paced by leading scorer Jenna Harpe, who finished with 18 points, and Shea McCusker who had a 10 point-13 rebound double-double.

It was a tight opening quarter with both teams going to work in the offensive end early. The Pandas, for the second straight day, impressed from the stripe going 6/7 in the frame. Harpe was the main benefactor as she hit all five of her attempts from the line. The Huskies were elite from deep – going 4-for-10 – but were unable to contain the Pandas on the glass losing the rebounding battle 13-to-10. Harpe scored 10 as Alberta escaped the first with an 18-14 lead.

McMillan, who led the Huskies with six points in the first, continued to dominate in the second. She converted two from deep early on was a massive factor in a strong Saint Mary’s second quarter that saw them outscore the hosts 25-19. It initially looked like the margin could get larger, but some really timely Harpe and Claire Signatovich buckets for Alberta were able to dampen the blow as they entered halftime with a 39-37 deficit.

McMillan hit five threes in the first half and tied with Harpe for the halftime lead in scoring with 15 points.

It was a high-octane start to the third, as the fresh squads went basket-for-basket until the midway mark. Beaumont was the benefactor for Saint Mary’s, getting two offensive boards and putbacks early, while Elise Toogood had two jumpers to respond for the hosts. The steady presence of Rylee Semeniuk, who had a quarter-high 7 points, and rookie Bridgette Olson were too much for the Huskies as the Pandas entered the final frame with a 51-49 advantage.

The Huskies came out swinging in the fourth, immediately taking the lead back thanks to Donaldson who was the focal point of their offence. They led for the majority of the quarter, which set up a 63-60 SMU lead with two minutes remaining. A Semeniuk layup with 30 seconds left made it a 63-62 game, but after McMillan hit both intentional free-throws to make it a three-point game, Harpe missed a potential game-tying shot and the Huskies held on for the Consolation Final victory.

Boxscore

Players of the Game

Alberta: #1 Shea McCusker & #4 Jenna Harpe

Saint Mary’s: #14 Lucina Beaumont