EDMONTON, Alb. – Chioma Oriuwa, Amber Bechard, and Jill Semple ended their brilliant college basketball careers with a win on Saturday as the Humber Hawks defeated the NAIT Ooks 72-48 in the CCAA bronze medal game.
"It's a good way to finish up," said head coach Ajay Sharma. "We made adjustments and really got back to being us. We have been to three straight nationals, and have come away with two medals, so that says a lot about these players. They are an experienced group and they knew what to do today."
The top-seeded Hawks went 3-1 in the tournament, losing in Thursday's quarter-final to NAIT. Humber ended the season with 24 wins and one loss overall.
Two-time player of the year Ceejay Nofuente scored a game-high 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Hawks to its second straight CCAA medal.
Looking to win bronze on its home court, the Ooks jumped out to an early first quarter lead before Humber's talented core found its stride. The Hawks went on a 17-0 run to end the first quarter, silencing the crowd up 22-9 after 10 minutes. The Hawks' stifling defence held the Ooks to 17.6 per cent (3 of 17) shooting in the quarter.
The second quarter played out much like the first, as Humber's defence once again held NAIT to single digit scoring, as the Ooks were only able to manage eight points on 23.1 per cent shooting. Aleena Domingo and Jill Semple combined to shutout All-Canadian Torey Hill in the first half.
Chioma Oriuwa, who ends her career as Humber's all-time leading rebounder, finished with a team-high ten rebounds in the win. Jill Semple played her best game of the tournament, finishing with 12 points and eight rebounds. Amber Bechard played her usual tenacious defence and held NAIT's top scorer Shea-Lynn Noyes to four points in the second half.
After scoring 42 points in four games, Aleena Domingo was named a championship second team all-star for the second time in her career. Ceejay Nofuente was named a first team all-star for the third straight year after scoring 89 points during the tournament.
Following its opening round loss, Humber outscored its opponents by 49 points in the following three games.
Since the beginning of 2014, the Hawks are 70-4 (.946) and continue to cement its legacy as the most dominant program in OCAA women's basketball history.