Jenna Mae Ellsworth wasn’t going out like that.
Not in her fourth season as a standout guard at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), and not in the first-round of the U Sports Final 8.
So the five-foot-10 workhorse from Charlottetown put the sixth-seeded Panthers on her back and led them to a 75-70 upset over the No. 3 Ryerson Rams in Thursday’s quarterfinal.
Ellsworth had 22 points, 13 rebounds and five assists to lead the UPEI, who withstood 31 points and 10 rebounds from Ryerson’s Marin Scotten en route to the win.
This was the latest in a series of heady accomplishments for Ellsworth, who was also named U Sports Player of the year at a gala in Ottawa the night before.
She led UPEI to a 17-3 record this season and the school’s first Atlantic University Sport (AUS) title since 1998. Ellsworth averaged 20.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists during the regular season and was also named a first-team All-Canadian.
“It’s unbelievable,” said UPEI’s athletic director Chris Huggan in an interview with the Guardian newspaper.
“And it couldn’t happen to a better person. Jenna Mae is an absolute workhorse. She puts in so much time and effort in the off-season.”
Ellsworth is the first-ever UPEI athlete to win a basketball player of the year award and is the final member of U Sports’ Top 100 players of the century campaign.
“She is just genuinely a great person and an absolutely great ambassador for the university and for sport in general,” Huggan told the Guardian. “She’s a terrific female role model.”
UPEI advances to the semifinal round on Saturday, where they’ll face the winner of Brock vs. Calgary.
Other U Sports women’s basketball award winners:
Rookie of the Year (Kathy Shields Award): Jael Kabunda (guard, Bishop’s)
Student-Athlete Community Service: Julia Curran (forward, Western University)
Defensive Player of the Year: Khaléann Caron-Goudreau (forward, Laval)
Coach of the Year: Mike Rao (Brock)
Tracy McLeod Award for overcoming adversity: Addison Martin (forward, University of Manitoba)