Miah-Marie Langlois poured in 21 points and the Windsor Lancers advanced to the CIS women's championship final with a 81-71 victory over the eighth-seed host Calgary Dinos on Sunday night.
The fourth-seeded Lancers will defend their title against the No. 2 UBC Thunderbirds for the Bronze Baby trophy on Monday.
UBC booked a spot in the final with a 59-51 win over the No. 3 Ottawa Gee-Gees earlier Sunday. The T-birds are 6-1 in CIS championship games overall, with three triumphs since 2004, including the last one in 2008.
Windsor lost the CIS final to Simon Fraser in 2010 before winning it last year against Saskatchewan.
Head coach Chantal Vallee was thrilled to be going back to the final.
“We're very happy with the win — Calgary played tremendously well,” she said. “We tried to pull away, but they would always bring it back. It was an outstanding atmosphere tonight — we tried to be mentally tough and managed to pull through.”
On three separate occasions in the fourth quarter, the Dinos would bring the lead to within six on a three-point shot — twice by Jenna Kaye and and the third by Kiersten Hilton — but all three times a prompt Windsor response brought it back to a more comfortable lead.
Langlois, the CIS defensive MVP, added six rebounds, five assists and three steals to her game-high point total.
“This is what we've worked all year for” said Langlois. “We knew what we wanted, and it was just a matter of will and going after our goal.”
Tamara Jarrett had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Dinos.
Calgary will face Ottawa for bronze.
In the earlier semifinal, Kristen Hughes hit two three-pointers in the span of 43 seconds to put the Thunderbirds up for good.
The North Vancouver, B.C., native hit her threes with just under five minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
The Gee-Gees couldn't convert in the waning minutes of the game after being up 47-42 with 6:25 to play.
UBC ended the game on a 17-4 run, sparked largely by the timely shots from Hughes and solidified by foul shooting from Zara Huntley and Alexandra Vieweg.
“The girls really stepped up in the fourth quarter,” said Thunderbirds head coach Deb Huband, in her 17th year at the helm of UBC. “We got really gritty defensively, limited their scoring and got some threes to fall.
“The belief factor was there today; that was a tough opponent and thankfully we were able to get it going.”
Huntley led the way for the Thunderbirds with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Kristjana Young led all scorers with 17.
Ottawa's Hannah Sunley-Paisley grabbed an 17 rebounds to go along with nine points. Lennox was the only Gee-Gee to find double figures, getting to 11 points.
Ottawa head coach Andy Sparks gave full credit to UBC in defeat.
“We knew it was going to be a dogfight out there today, and it was,” said Sparks. “Ultimately, the fourth quarter hurt us — we got good looks for our fourth and fifth years but they just wouldn't fall.
“They have an outstanding team and regardless of what happens in the next game, it will be a great national final.”
UBC was last in the national championship game in 2008, when they ended up conquering Regina 67-46 for the Bronze Baby.