Rookies Abby Dixon and Andrea Priamo shone in their OUA debuts, as women’s basketball was perfect on their opening weekend.
The Gaels defeated the Lakehead Thunderwolves 58-52 Friday and the Guelph Gryphons 61-55 the following night.
Priamo, a post, started in her first game with the Gaels. She grabbed 12 rebounds to go along with two steals while playing the most minutes on the team against the Thunderwolves.
She said her nervousness was a catalyst for her stellar performace.
“You have to transfer it into the positive energy and really go out and kill it,” Priamo said.
Dixon, a guard, was the first substitute off the bench, and was second on the team in scoring with 12 points, behind guard Liz Boag, who had 14.
She felt the team was well-adjusted to the physicality of OUA-level teams.
“We did a lot of conditioning in the preseason … I think we can outrun a lot of teams,” Dixon said.
Boag believes the team’s chemistry is already good early in the season, in part due to the rookies’ play.
“I thought they stepped in and did a really good job,” Boag said. “They’re showing a lot of poise and maturity, and they contributed really well.”
The Gaels forced 21 turnovers against the Thunderwolves with their aggressive style of defence, registering nine steals in the contest.
Despite a poor shooting night from the Gaels against Guelph, they managed to pull out a win. The team only shot 32.9 per cent from the field, but took advantage of a Gryphons team that hit only 27.4 per cent.
Third-year wing Gemma Bullard had an efficient scoring night, garnering 19 points in 17 minutes of play, while second-year guard Emily Hazlett finished with 14.
The game was close, with the Gryphons trailing the Gaels by three points in the final minute of the fourth quarter, until Bullard scored nine clutch points in the last minute to give the Gaels the win.
The Gaels look to keep their perfect season this weekend when they travel to take on the Western Mustangs (1-1) and the Windsor Lancers (1-1).
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