Gaels stage upset at Bartlett

Barnes scores 19 for women’s basketball as Queen’s upsets Laurentian 75-69 Friday night

Queen’s point guard Teddi Firmi drives against counterpart Brittany Szockyj of the OUA East-leading York Lions Saturday night.
Queen’s point guard Teddi Firmi drives against counterpart Brittany Szockyj of the OUA East-leading York Lions Saturday night.
Queen’s forward Sarah Barnes tries a layup against Melissa Meacham of the York Lions Saturday. The Gaels lost 71-66.
Queen’s forward Sarah Barnes tries a layup against Melissa Meacham of the York Lions Saturday. The Gaels lost 71-66.

Three days after their shocking loss to the 2-16 Ottawa Gee-Gees, the women’s basketball team rebounded in a major way with a 75-69 upset of the 13-5 Laurentian Voyageurs Friday night in Bartlett Gym.

Head coach Dave Wilson said the difference between the two games was an improved effort from the 8-12 Gaels.

“We came out with intensity, and the girls came out focused and ready to play,” he said. “I didn’t think we started the ball game that well, but thereafter we got going. … I thought we were better prepared to play today than we have been in some time.”

Forwards Sarah Barnes—who led the Gaels with 19 points—and Maddie Soye both fouled out in the fourth quarter, forcing Wilson to shorten his bench. He said the team’s depth meant that wasn’t

a problem.

“The great thing about this team is I have confidence in all the players,” he said. “It’s always a challenge when not everybody’s available to you, but I’m really confident with the players we have on the bench.”

The Gaels held Voyageur All-Canadian guard Cassandra Carpenter to just 16 points, below her season average of 20.8 and four less than she needed to set the CIS record for career points.

Wilson said the Gaels developed special strategies to deal with Carpenter.

“In any game, you want to shut down the main scorers for the opposition, so we do look at how we can do that,” he said. “She’s trying to get her record, and it’s nice that we were at least able to keep her from doing that today.”

The Gaels got some help against Carpenter from an unexpected source: the men’s volleyball team, who had their scheduled road trip postponed until Saturday due to the weather, showed up en masse at the game, sat in the first row, and continuously heckled Carpenter. That seemed to throw her off her game. She missed several easy shots and even turned to finger them at one point.

Laurentian head coach Mike Clarke said Carpenter’s 16 points in the face of adversity showed

her talent.

“You can slow her down, but you can’t stop her,” he said.

His team couldn’t stay focused, Clarke said, and it led to their defeat.

“I thought in the first half, Queen’s was very physical, very aggressive,” he said. “We just really lost our composure.”

Barnes said the team was confident going into the match despite Laurentian’s superior record and their own poor performance against Ottawa.

“We knew that we had a pretty good game against them last time,” she said. “We match up well with them, and it’s always a good game when we play Laurentian. … We were pretty embarrassed after Tuesday’s game.”

Porter said she was happy to pull off the season-sweep of Laurentian. The Gaels beat the Voyageurs 73-71 in a Jan 12. game in Sudbury .

“It was an exciting game to go into, because we beat them in their home gym last time,” she said. “It was nice to beat them in our gym.

On Saturday night, the Gaels took on the 16-3 York Lions and almost pulled off another upset. They trailed 29-21 at the half but came back to force overtime and could have won in regulation if forward Anne Murphy hadn’t missed a last-second shot. York pulled away in overtime, however, and eventually won 71-66.

Murphy said she felt let down that they didn’t win and frustrated she missed a shot with the game on the line.

“I was really disappointed,” she said. “We for sure could have won that game.”

Because it was the team’s last regular-season game at home, they honoured their graduating players—Barnes, Murphy and Amanda Northcott—with a special presentation at the end of the game.

Barnes said the Gaels fouled the Lions too much towards the end of the game.

“We were fouling a lot, and we have to work on being more disciplined,” she said. “They won the game on the foul line.”

Wilson said the team should have won.

“Today, we had the opportunity to win the basketball game, and we just didn’t take that opportunity.”

Next weekend the team travels to play the Ottawa Gee-Gees and the Carleton Ravens in their last games of the regular season. Wilson said the upcoming games will prepare the team for the post-season.

“I think these games are very important, because they’re the games that get us set for playoffs,” he said. “In all likelihood, we will play Carleton in the first round of the playoffs as well, so it’s an interesting matchup.”

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