Kajan Thiruthanikasalam (Sports Writer, Colts Athletics)
SCARBOROUGH, ONT.- For the better part of the first half, it looked like the Centennial Colts were going to shock the world in a home showdown with the top seed in the OCAA East, the George Brown Huskies.
George Brown, however, eventually proved to be too much to handle. A 41 point second quarter proved to be the difference for the Huskies as they beat the Colts, 96-77, at the Athletic and Wellness Centre, for their third straight win to improve to 13-1 on the season.
For Centennial, they suffered their second straight loss as they fell to 7-9 on the season.
Turnovers undone the Colts as they committed a whopping 35 of them, leading to 38 Huskies points. Centennial shot 36.6 per cent from the field but shot themselves in the foot, missing 12 free throws (14-26). Despite the Huskies shooting 42.9 per cent from the field (39-91) and 77.8 per cent from the line (14-18), Centennial dominated on the glass, outrebounding George Brown, 63-41.
Yasmeen Smith finished with another double double, finishing with a game high 33 points (15/28 FG. 3/10 FT) and a game high 14 rebounds, eight of them coming on the offensive glass. Smith also had a team high three steals.
Tianna Sullivan also finished with 33 points (12/19 FG, 9/11 FT) and committed three of the team's 17 steals. Two other Huskies players scored in double figures as Aprille Deus and Krystal-Ann Elento each had 13. Deus finished with a game high six assists.
The Huskies scored the first five points of the game as the Colts committed consecutive turnovers. But a triple from Michelle Beloso highlighted eight straight points from the Colts. Centennial eventually held a 22-18 lead after the first quarter as Smith led all scorers with eight first quarter points.
Both teams went back and forth for the early part of the second quarter as a putback from Karmealia Turner gave the Colts a 31-30 lead. Deus responded with two free throws to give the Huskies the lead for good. Smith had an opportunity to tie the game at 38 with two free throws but missed both and Sullivan completed a three point play at the other end, sparking a 21-7 run from the visitors to close the quarter.
The half was capped off by a triple off the glass from Elento as George Brown took a 59-43 lead after two quarters. Sullivan scored 15 of her 19 first half points in that second quarter alone (6/6 FG, 3/3 FT) as George Brown shot a scintillating 69.6 per cent from the field (16-23). Smith led all scorers with 20 at the half, 12 of them coming in the second quarter.
George Brown started off the second half on a 16-6 run to lead by as many as 24 (73-49) but Centennial closed out the third quarter on a 14-4 run, capped off by a triple from Ta at the buzzer, as the hosts trailed 78-63 heading into the final quarter.
Six straight points from Centennial cut the lead to single digits (nine), the first time it was that close since late in the second quarter. But behind Sullivan's 10 fourth quarter points, George Brown pulled away for the win.
UP NEXT: Centennial does not play until Tuesday Feb. 20 at 6:00pm when they face off against the Durham Lords, in what is the final game of the regular season.