Women’s basketball fall behind early, lose both games this weekend

Gaels uncharacteristically fall to U of T and Ryerson at home

Abby Dixon averaged 35 minutes a game this weekend.
Abby Dixon averaged 35 minutes a game this weekend.

The women’s basketball team faced an unexpected challenge in their final pair of regular season home games this weekend, losing to U of T 79-76 and Ryerson 82-75 in overtime.

In both games, the Gaels dug themselves into deep deficits in the first half due to poor rebounding on defense and sub-standard shooting. Against U of T, they were down by 14 at one point and versus Ryerson, the Gaels faced a 21-point deficit.

“That’s two days in a row we’ve [had a slow start],” head coach Dave Wilson said after Saturday’s loss to Ryerson. “It doesn’t mean we’re stuck in that but it’s tough to win games when you dig that deep of a hole.”

Despite their slow starts, the Gaels showed their resiliency in the second half of both contests. Queen’s outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 96-73 in the final 20 minutes of both games.

“To be down 21 and to be able to chip away and chip away and keep your head high on that, it shows that regardless of what the lead is, we’re able to come back,” Wilson said.

At the end of the weekend, the Gaels shot only 26.7 per cent from the field in the first half of the game. Things changed in the back-half of each game, as Queen’s shot an improved 42.4 per cent from the field.

“We got all the way back with our shooting percentage lower than where we wanted to be, so that’s still a work in progress,” Wilson said.

Fifth-year guard Abby Dixon echoed many of her coach’s sentiments after Saturday’s loss.

“We have it,” she said on her teammates’ resolve and ability. “[W]e just need to go into [the] next two games this weekend and do it for 40 minutes and not just for half the game … I think we’ll be fine going into the playoffs.”

Dixon was one of the Gaels’ shining stars over the weekend, as she averaged 35 minutes a game and scored 17 points in the loss to Ryerson. First-year post Sophie De Goede also experienced an impressive weekend and averaged 21 points over both games.

The Gaels will cap off their regular season with a trip to the nation’s capital this weekend to play Ottawa and Carleton. The Gaels have already dropped their most recent meetings against the two teams this season. Carleton is currently first place in the OUA East with a 21-0 record while Ottawa sits just four points back of Queen’s with 38 points.

With her eyes set on a bounce-back weekend in Ottawa, Dixon is confident the Gaels are well-equipped with the tools to make a deep run in the playoffs and return to the U Sports National Championship.

“I think we’re taking that second half. If we can play like that, I think we can beat any team in the country,” she said.

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