Basketball can’t break away from tall team

Women beat Ryerson, can’t keep up momentum against Toronto

The Queen’s women’s basketball team missed an opportunity to secure second place in their division after losing the second of a two-game road trip last weekend in Toronto. On Friday, Queen’s defeated
the lowly Ryerson Rams 73-58, then lost the following day 59-73 to Toronto.

The Gaels are now tied with Toronto for second place in the division, but there’s little room for error with three teams hot on their heels. Head coach Dave Wilson was happy with his team’s performance on Friday night against Ryerson. “We got off to a good start to the ball game and took control of the game right after the first quarter,” he said. The Gaels continued to build on their lead in the second half, and Ryerson was unable to gain any momentum. Queen’s never gave up their lead after the first quarter and won by 15 points.

“We opened up an early lead in the first quarter; they closed that lead maybe to within eight but that’s as close as they got,” Wilson said. Gael Claire Meadows had a game-high 18 points to go with five rebounds. Jessica Selinger, Sarah Barnes and Anne Murphy also scored in double digits. In their next game, Queen’s faced the University of Toronto in a tilt between the second and third place teams.

This time Queen’s was unable to gain momentum and found themselves behind early. “It was a bit of the opposite. We got off to a slow start against [Toronto],” Wilson said. “We were a little bit sloppy with the ball. We had a dozen turnovers in the first half.” At halftime, Queen’s was behind 11 points and looking to recover. Wilson said the Gaels came out much stronger in the second half and trailed by eight heading into the fourth quarter. But they were unable to make a serious challenge for the game and lost by 15. Wilson said he thought Queen’s and Toronto played a relatively even second half, but the Gaels just couldn’t overcome the Blues’ lead. Wilson said that, going into the game, he knew Toronto had a size advantage over the smaller Queen’s team.

“Toronto can be a little bit intimidating in that they run such a big front line,” he said. “We had a lot of difficulty with their size. “They ended up with 15 offensive rebounds.” Wilson also added that Toronto’s
size affected the way his team was able to run their system. “We would much prefer to be in the high 60s to 70s [in shots taken],” he said. “The rebounding issue and turnovers combined led to a fewer number of possessions.” The Gaels resume play this weekend on the road against Ottawa and Carleton. Both teams are in the bottom half of the OUA East division. “On paper, we should come away with two wins,” Wilson said.

The Gaels will return home to Bartlett Gym on Friday, Jan. 26 to play the University of Toronto.

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