Basketball·U Sports Roundup

UPEI Panthers upset Ryerson Rams in women's basketball Final 8

The sixth-seeded Prince Edward Island Panthers rallied to upset the No. 3 Ryerson Rams 75-70 in the opening quarterfinal of the U Sports women's basketball championship on Thursday.

No. 1 Saskatchewan, No. 2 Brock, No. 4 Laval also advance to semifinals

UPEI Panthers' Jenna Mae Ellsworth (4), named the national player of the year Wednesday, had a team-high 22 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in her team's 75-70 victory over the Ryerson Rams in Ottawa on Thursday. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

The University of Prince Edward Island Panthers staged a fourth-quarter comeback to beat Ryerson in the opening quarterfinal.

Trailing by 10 after three quarters, the Panthers outscored the Toronto-based Rams 29-14 in the fourth to pull off the victory.

Panthers guard Jenna Mae Ellsworth, named national player of the year Wednesday, had a team-high 22 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Reese Baxendale added 19 points and Lauren Rainford had 18 for the Panthers.

"We didn't give up one minute there," Ellsworth said following the win. "We were down in the third and we just kept battling."

Ellsworth was named player of the game.

Panthers head coach Matt Gamblin said his team showed "resilience and toughness" to shut Ryerson down in PEI's first appearance in the national championship in more than two decades.

"It comes down to who wants it more," said Gamblin. "I think these guys decided if we lose we're going to lose fighting and they fought hard."

Baxendale went down with an injury late in the fourth quarter. Gamblin said he didn't have an update yet on her condition.

Marin Scotten scored a game-high 31 points and added 10 rebounds for Ryerson, the runner-up in the Ontario conference this year.

PEI qualified for the Final 8 after winning the Atlantic conference title for the first time in 22 years.

The last quarter-final match features the No. 1 Saskatchewan Huskies versus the No. 8 Carleton Ravens. CBC Sports is live streaming all the action here.

Badgers hold off Dinos

The Brock Badgers held off a feisty Calgary team primed for an upset, edging the seventh-seeded Dinos 72-71 in the second quarter-final at the U Sports women's basketball championship on Thursday.

The No. 2 Badgers, from St. Catharines, Ont., advance to Saturday's semifinals to face No. 6 Prince Edward Island.

Brock Badgers' Jenneke Pilling (10) plays the ball against Calgary Dinos' Courtney Donaldson (9) during the first half of quarterfinal U Sports Final 8 Championships basketball action in Ottawa, on Thursday, March 5, 2020. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Brock led by as many as eight in the first quarter and 14 in the second before the Dinos started to rally. Calgary ultimately outscored Brock in three of the four quarters, and were up by one with less than 30 seconds to go when fifth-year Badger and Ontario player of the year Melissa Tatti dropped in a layup to score the winning basket.

While his elated team celebrated, Badgers head coach Mike Rao seemed relieved it was over, saying his players did "just enough."

"What stood out about the game? The final whistle. That's what stood out," Rao said.

"[Calgary] shot the ball extremely well and they boarded extremely well so we had those two things to combat. I thought offensively we didn't move the ball as well as we could have."

Brock's Samantha Keltos had 24 points and five rebounds to earn the player-of-the-game award, but she said it was an honour she thinks she should share with Tatti, who ended with 17 points and seven rebounds. Fellow fifth-year Jessica Morris added 20 points.

Keltos said in the frenzied final moments Tatti didn't know she had put the Badgers ahead when she scored the final layup.

"It was hilarious," Keltos said.

Calgary head coach Damian Jennings said he was "clearly disappointed" by the outcome.

"We've got a style of basketball we didn't quite execute the way we wanted to," he said.

Laval grinds past Alberta

Led by a 17-point effort from Khaleann Caron-Goudreau, No. 4 Laval took down No. 5 Alberta in a defensive battle.

Caron-Goudreau also added 19 rebounds and four blocks in 32 minutes of action as the Rouge et Or pulled way from the Pandas in the second half.

Down five points at halftime, Laval locked down on defence, limiting Alberta to just four points in the third quarter while registering 14 points themselves.

A higher scoring final frame included some clutch three-pointers for Laval, who will play No. 1 Saskatchewan in the semifinal.

Laval's Kim Letang contributed 11 points off the bench to help offset struggling starter Maude Archambault who shot just two-for-20.

Sydney Fedick led the Pandas with nine points.

Saskatchewan rolls over Carleton

Sabine Dukate hit five three-pointers as part of a 21-point performance to lead the Saskatchewan Huskies over the No. 8 Carleton Ravens 73-59.

The top-seeded Huskies burst out of the gates to take a commanding 30-11 lead early before holding on through the rest of the game.

Katriana Philipenko scored 13 points in 20 minutes of the bench for Saskatchewan, while Libby Epoch was named the team's top player following her 7-point, 10-rebound, 8-assist performance.

Madison Reid led the Ravens with 18 points. Carleton will play No. 5 Alberta in Friday's consolation semifinal.

With files from CBC Sports

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