With a 51-48 win over the UQAM Citadins in RSEQ semifinal action on Thursday night, the McGill Martlets have advanced to the conference championship game for the sixth straight year.
The first half can only be described as a defensive battle with the Citadins going to the locker room with a 25-22 lead after 20 minutes.
McGill broke out in the third quarter outscoring their opposition 15-6 and taking a 37-31 lead after 30 minutes.
The final frame was a complex battle that was decided in the dying seconds. McGill had a 49-46 lead with a minute left, but UQAM went to the free-throw line with 37 seconds to play. Queteline Celestin nailed both shots and the score was 49-48. The ball changed hands three more times before Marika Guerin of the Martlets made two free throws with 10 seconds left sealing the victory.
“It was experience,” said McGill head coach Ryan Thorne. “We ‘ve been there before.”
The Martlets were led by Gladys Hakizimana who had 11 points. She was named McGill’s player of the game.
UQAM’s Jessica Lubin had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead all scorers in the game. She was named the Citadins’ MVP.
The Martlets will meet the Concordia Stingers in the RSEQ championship game on Saturday at 3 p.m. The last time the teams met in the final was 2013 when McGill eked out a 51-48 victory.
“The Stingers are also a great squad,” said Thorne. “I hope we move the ball a little better on Saturday.”