MONTREAL, Que. (from McGill Martlets) — Alex Kiss-Rusk of Beaconsfield, Que. recorded another one of her “reverse double-doubles” as No. 3 McGill defeated No.5 Laval 56-52 in RSEQ women’s basketball, Thursday, at Love Competition Hall.
The Martlets jumped to a 7-0 start and had an 11-9 lead after one, but trailed 26-20 at halftime. They then posted a 21-13 third quarter and 15-13 final frame to even the season series at one apiece.
“We just weren’t disciplined in the second quarter,” said McGill head coach Ryan Thorne. “All the stuff that we talked about in our game plan, we allowed them. If that team gets going in transition, it’s hard to deal with them, just because they can score in so many different ways, and that’s what we let happen in the second quarter. We tightened things up, played a little better in transition defence and didn’t give up as many open threes (in the second half).”
Kiss-Rusk, a 6-foot-4 centre, tallied 16 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. She shot 8-for-15 from the field and had two assists, a block and a steal.
Frederique Potvin of Ste. Julie, followed with 15 points. The 5-foot-10 guard shot 6-for-15 from the field, including 1-for-7 from the three-point range, and was perfect on two free throws. She also pulled down seven rebounds, had a pair of assists and stole one ball.
“Fred Potvin played awesome,” Thorne emphasized. “She’s been a breath of fresh air. She’s making some mistakes, but she’s always fighting, and I think sometimes I neglect to say how important she’s been to this team.”
Geraldine Cabillo-Abante of St. Laurent earned 11 points, courtesy of 2-for-5 shooting from behind the arc and a perfect 5-for-5 success rate from the charity stripe, and had two assists.
“She was big,” said Thorne of the 5-foot-5 junior guard. “She’s been spending time working on (her three-point shooting), as most of the girls have. They found her in the right situations. Based on the players that we had on at those times, she’s the player they’re going to help often if they’re going to double in Alex. She knows that she needs to be ready to shoot the ball and she did, so we’re very happy for her.”
Gladys Hakizimana of Montreal rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points. She shot 3-for-6 from the field, including 2-for-3 from downtown, drained both her free throws and had four assists.
Raphaëlle Côté paced the Rouge et Or with 13 points.
The Martlets (9-2) had a 38-32 rebounding advantage and a 2-0 edge in blocks while Laval (7-3) had a 15-11 margin in turnovers forced and a 9-5 difference in steals.
McGill shot 35.7 per cent from the field (20/56), including 27.8 per cent from beyond the arc (5/18), and was a perfect 11-for-11 from the line. The Rouge et Or shot 31.5 per cent from the field (23/73), including 20.8 from downtown (5/24), and netted one of just two free throws.
The teams tip-off again on Saturday (Feb. 3) at 6 pm EST in Quebec City for the second game of the home-and-home series.