Even usually surly coach Doug Partridge couldn't help but grin when Robyn O'Rielly sank her sixth three-pointer Sunday afternoon in Atlantic universities women's basketball in helping the Memorial Sea-Hawks to a 91-57 victory over the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds at the Field House.
In fact, O'Rielly's feat brought smiles from everyone on Memorial's bench as the Witless Bay native had a game to remember with 18 points - all on treys - as the Sea-Hawks (12-6) completed a two-game sweep of UNB (7-12).
"Once I hit a few, it seems like the rest started falling after that," said O'Rielly. "It's definitely a confidence issue. If you miss a few, then you usually start thinking about the ones you've missed. I'm really trying to focus so that if I miss one to just let it go and try to hit the next one. But it seems that once they start going, they keep going in."
The win clinched a first-round bye for the Sea-Hawks, who will finish second place in the standings behind first-place and defending champion Cape Breton Capers. MUN finishes out the regular season at St. Francis Xavier in Antigonish, N.S., next weekend.
O'Rielly had an opportunity to hit a seventh trey with 15 seconds left in the game, but had to rush it as the shot clock was running out and it turned into an air ball. It was a shot she could laugh about when the game was over.
"I just kind of fired that up," she noted with a smile.
The important thing, according to O'Rielly, was getting a big win, with everyone contributing.
"We can kill teams if we play like this every day," O'Rielly said.
MUN, which led 45-30 at the half, broke the game open in the third quarter by outscoring UNB 25-8.
Vicki Thistle, who led MUN to an 85-72 win Saturday night with 19 points and 12 rebounds, had another outstanding game Sunday scoring 22 points with eight rebounds in just 21 minutes of floor time. Partridge took his star player out of the lineup with two and a half minutes to play in the third quarter and she sat out the entire fourth.
Erin Mullaley, playing her final Lady Hawks' home game, contributed nine points and eight assists. Fans gave her a standing ovation when she was taken out of the game with 1:25 to play in the fourth quarter.
She said it was "nice" of coach Partridge to take her out so that the home fans got a chance to say goodbye and she appreciated the standing O.
Mullaley, a fifth-year guard from Freshwater who scored 14 points in Saturday's win, said she didn't think about the fact that Sunday was the final home game of her career.
"We had one job to do today and that was to win and that's all I thought about," she said.
Mullaley said it was a "huge" game for the team and "it was really good to get everybody playing well. We're in really good position going into the playoffs."
Team GP W L Pts
Cape Breton 19 18 1 50
Memorial 18 12 6 36
Saint Mary's 20 12 8 34
St. FX 17 10 7 28
Dalhousie 18 9 9 22
UNB 19 7 12 16
Acadia 17 5 12 16
UPEI 16 0 18 0
Some games are worth four points each; the top six teams make playoffs