The Varsity Blues women’s basketball team couldn’t finish off the Ottawa Gee-Gees Friday night in their annual Think Pink, Bleed Blue game hosted at the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport in Toronto. The hard-fought close game ended in the Gee-Gees’ favour, 69-62.

The Blues fell to a 3-6 record, staying put in third place in the OUA East division, while the nationally ranked (number 10) Gee-Gees advance to an 8-1 record, holding the top spot in the North Division.

From the Blues, third-year guard and Scarborough native Rahshida Atkinson led all players with 15 points while adding three rebounds and three assists. Third-year Diedre Edwards scored 12 points while adding five rebounds and two assists. Rookie Mahal De La Durantaye had a great showing, scoring eights points and grabbed four rebounds and two steals.

The game went back and forth and both teams exchanged leads, making it a nail-biter until the end. First-year guard Keyira Parkes brought her Blues squad to life in the first quarter with a three-pointer that evened up the game at nine.

The Blues took the lead at half time, 36-34. During intermission, the Junior Blues gymnastics club raised over $700 and performed a Think Pink dance routine to support breast cancer research. Varsity Blues football player Kevin Collins raised $1,000 for the cause and had his hair cut because of his pledge.

The second half was worth the admission for the jam-packed stadium. Atkinson, the Blues’ clutch three-point specialist with a .316 success rate behind the arc, scored eight out of the 10 points when the Blues took a 10-0 run to open the second half. After a timeout, the Gee-Gees came together and played sound fundamental basketball, taking the Blues’ lead to a narrow 50-49 advantage.

The fourth quarter was not the best of quarters for the Blues; they gave up double the amount of points than what they scored, giving the Gee-Gees a hard-fought win. Kelli Ring scored 13 points for the Gee-Gees, also leading the team with seven rebounds.

The women lost another battle 67-63 on Saturday night to the Carleton Ravens. The Blues record sinks to 3-7, while Carleton improves to 6-4, giving them second place in the North division.

Parkes led the team with a career-high 23 points and two rebounds; she was unstoppable from shooting range.

Edwards tallied 12 points and led the team with six steals, while first-year Texas native Charlotte Collyer scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds.

The Blues went on a 9-0 run, but would give the points right back to Carleton when they went on their 10-0 streak. The game was tied 63-63 with less than a minute remaining, but the Ravens gave the Blues their woes, scoring on consecutive free throw opportunities.

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