Photo credit: ryanmcculloughphotography.ca
WELLAND, ON: For the second time in as many seasons, the Humber Hawks have won the OCAA Championship after defeating the Mohawk Mountaineers 71-43 Saturday night at Niagara College.
The theme of the tournament for Humber was their slow first quarters and the championship game was no different. The Hawks were held to a season-low 22 percent from the floor in the opening frame but managed to grab a 13-11 lead.
Then, as predicted, the Hawks began to pull away and held an 11 point lead at the halftime break. Despite the poor shooting performance, the Hawks put Mohawk in foul trouble early and often and capitalized from the free throw line.
As Humber's lead grew in the second-half, tempers flared resulting in a player from each team getting ejected from the game, along with Mohawk's head coach Kevin Duffy. That moment sparked the Hawks, who continued to add to their lead from the free throw line.
From there, Humber cruised to a 71-43 victory and secured the program's eighth OCAA gold medal.
Ceejay Nofuente (Toronto), the OCAA player of the year, continued to prove why she may be the best player in the country. The high-scoring guard finished with 18 points, five rebounds, six assists, and five steals in the contest and was named Tournament MVP after leading the team in scoring.
OCAA all-star Llyandra Kerr (Markham) was named championship player of the game after recording a double-double, ending with 14 points and a season-high 17 rebounds. The fifth-year forward was named a tournament all-star for her outstnading performances. All-rookie Felicia Velasquez (Brampton) was also named a tournament all-star after leading the team in assists.
For only the second time in program history, Humber finished the OCAA season with a perfect 21-0 record and has now extended their win streak to 37 consecutive games against league opponents.
Up next for the women's basketball program is a trip to the national championship tournament in search of the OCAA's first ever gold medal. This year the eight team tournament will be held at St. Clair College March 17-19. On Tuesday, the official rankings for the tournament will be released and Humber has stated their case to be named the number one seed.