Women’s basketball had to battle back to defeat a divisional foe last Friday.
Down 10 points at the half against the Toronto Varsity Blues, the Gaels pressed back hard, tied the game up at 71 and dragged it into overtime.
As the final seconds counted down, Gaels post Andrea Priamo nullified Toronto’s last scoring chance to give Queen’s a 79-77 victory.
The Gaels couldn’t keep the momentum going the next night, losing 79-71 to the OUA East-leading Ryerson Rams.
Queen’s (8-4) sits second in the division, with Toronto (7-5) right on their heels. The Gaels are almost guaranteed a playoff spot, needing just one more win or a loss by the York Lions (2-11) to punch their ticket to the post-season.
Second-year guard Abby Dixon said the Gaels were poised going into overtime against the Varsity Blues.
“Our mentality going into the overtime game was really good, so that helped us,” Dixon said. “Coming back from a 17-point deficit in the third really got us going.”
Dixon said the Gaels had no specific strategy or game plan going into extra time.
“We just wanted to come out and play and show we weren’t the team we showed we were in the first half,” she said.
The women scored 14 points in the first quarter and 16 in the second, and trailed by 10 going into the break.
Dixon ignited scoring in the second half, draining 15 points after the midway mark. Guard Emily Hazlett led the team with 20 points, while post Robyn Pearson had 17 points and three steals.
The Gaels started slow again in Saturday’s game against Ryerson. managing only five points in the first quarter and 12 in the second.
Despite outscoring the Rams by 17 in the second half, the Gaels were unable to pull even and lost 79-71. The loss brought the team’s six-game win streak to a halt.
Dixon said it was a winnable game.
“First quarter, we had five points. Obviously, that doesn’t show how we can play,” she said. “Shots weren’t falling and our defence wasn’t quite up to par. Second half was a lot better and we just need to make sure we don’t get ourselves into holes like we have been.”
Dixon came off the bench in the Ryerson game and made a big impact. She contributed 17 points against the Rams, while Jenny Wright had 12 and Priamo added 11.
“[Assistant coach] James [Bambury] came up to me in the second half of the Toronto game and told me to put it into gear like he knows I can, and I think I showed that,” Dixon said.
On Friday, the women will meet the Windsor Lancers (11-1) and the Western Mustangs (4-9) on the road.
The women lost to both teams last season. Windsor clobbered them 82-56 and Western topped them 69-60.
“We know that Windsor is number one in the country, so we have to bring our game for 40 minutes,” Dixon said. “It’s crucial that we play for 40 minutes as a team and communicate, because that’s how we’re going to win.”
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