The women’s basketball team struck down on the Seneca Sting on Saturday, Jan. 23 in a battle for the east division in what would end in an overtime contest.
The Thunder came into the game after receiving their second loss of the season to the St. Lawrence Knights in Kingston on Jan. 16.
“One key thing was composure and growth, as a team we wanted to make sure we didn’t just peak in December when we were first place, we wanted to make sure we were peaking right before play-offs which begin at the end of February,” said Laura Bond, head coach of the Thunder about coming into the game.
It was a must-win contest for the college in order to further solidify its division lead with the Sting coming in two points behind it with one less game played.
The first two quarters consisted of strong defensive play by both teams. Forward Jessica Basquin helped keep things close by shovelling up offensive and defensive rebounds in the key. By the end of the half the Thunder were up 22-19.
“I think as a team we played strong defense,” said Basquin.
A series of turnovers by the Thunder in the third quarter led to them being outscored by six, giving the Sting a 37-34 lead going into the final quarter.
The Sting held their lead throughout the majority of the fourth quarter, but with five minutes to go guard Jeylinh Bui had an offensive spurt that quickly diminished the lead, propelling the game into overtime with a score of 55-55. Bui finished the game with 21 points, leading the Thunder.
In the extra quarter, guard Cynthia Obiahuba stole the ball numerous times. She finished the game with nine steals in total to help seal the victory in a fast-paced overtime outing with a final score of 67-64. Bui finished the game with 21 points, leading the Thunder offensively.
The game was defined by the amount of turnovers from both teams, with 60 of them combined.
“We just talked about it in the change room and we attributed it to composure,” said Bond. “Every time we had the lead we were a little bit too confident and complacent and then in overtime we took a breath and started taking the right shots which allowed us to score.”
The previous game against the St. Lawrence Knights ended in a loss by a score of 74-67. Bui scored 21 points to keep the game close. In the closing minutes the Knights galloped past the Thunder to win the game, thus splitting their two game season series 1-1.
“For us, against St. Lawrence in the last two minutes, we stopped doing the little things like rebounding and we left shots open,” said Bond.
On Friday, Jan.15 , the Thunder knocked the Loyalist Lancers off their horses with a 73-59 win. Amoney Abakar, Jeylinh Bui and Katie Flansbury all had 13 points in what was ultimately a team effort both offensively and defensively.
The Thunder improved their record to 8-2 on the season.
The Thunder’s next game is on Jan. 29 at George Brown. They return home on Saturday, Feb. 6 to face off against the Georgian Grizzlies.