The women’s basketball team ended their seven-game losing streak on Saturday night against the Ryerson Rams.
The game was close throughout, with the Rams holding a 34-31 lead at halftime and the Gaels holding out a 50-49 edge at the end of the third quarter.
With about three minutes left to play the Rams held a five point lead, but the Gaels fought back to take control of the game in the final few possessions.
A strong Gaels defence forced a shot clock violation on the Rams with about five seconds remaining and a one point deficit on the board.
The ball found its way to first-year wing Gemma Bullard, who was fouled with 2.5 seconds remaining. A couple clutch free throws later and the victory was sealed for the Gaels.
“The foul shots were the most nerve-wracking thing of my life,” Bullard said.
It was also Bullard’s first career double-double, as she posted 16 rebounds and 14 points. First-year guard Liz Boag added 12 points and fourth-year guard Brittany Moore added 10.
“When we came in, we knew we could beat this team,” she said. “It wasn’t our best effort, but it feels really good to come out with a win.”
Bullard said the biggest thing the Gaels gained from the split weekend was self-assurance.
“The main thing, I think, is confidence. We haven’t won a game in, I can’t remember how long.
“When you win, you can carry that over,” she said. “Hopefully when we go to play York on Friday night, we’ll remember this and have that extra hunger for it.”
The win improved the Gael’s record to 4-15. Coupled with Laurentian’s loss to the Ottawa Gee Gees, Queen’s moved into the sixth and final playoff spot in the OUA East.
Head coach Dave Wilson said the team’s confidence level is bound to improve from this win.
“All the head game stuff it does to you when you’re losing, it’s all gone,” he said. “So now we just play, and if we played as well as we played last weekend, we can control our destiny going forward. They were honestly having trouble thinking they were every going to have a chance to win again.”
This followed a disappointing 68-46 loss to the Toronto Varsity Blues on Friday night. Toronto burst to a 17-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. The 33-22 edge they held at halftime proved to be insurmountable, after the Blues outscored the Gaels 22 points to 10 in the third frame, en route to a 22-point win.
Bullard and Boag added 11 and 10 points respectively to the losing effort.
Wilson said the Gaels were outmatched on an individual level.
“The biggest thing with [the Blues] is that the matchups aren’t great for us, and that’s why we struggle with this team so much,” he said.
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