Weekend split for Gaels

Women’s basketball beats Ryerson, falls to Toronto

Varsity Blues forward Nikki Schutz looks for a passing lane against Queen’s Anne Murphy (14) and Alaina Porter (12) Friday. The Gaels lost 75-71.
Varsity Blues forward Nikki Schutz looks for a passing lane against Queen’s Anne Murphy (14) and Alaina Porter (12) Friday. The Gaels lost 75-71.
Supplied Photo by Brent Lewin/Varsity Blues Athletics

The women’s basketball team came close to victory twice on their weekend road trip to Toronto but walked away with only one win. They fell 75-71 to the 7-5 University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Friday night but recovered to beat the 5-8 Ryerson Rams 73-67 on Saturday, improving their record to 6-8.

Guard Brittany Moore, the OUA’s leading scorer this season with 279 points in 14 games, continued her strong run with 23 points and six rebounds Friday and an 18-point performance Saturday. Moore said the team’s play improved throughout their weekend games.

“Our overall offensive distribution improved over the weekend.”

On Friday, the Varsity Blues came out of the gate quickly and put up a 19-11 lead in the first quarter. Queen’s narrowed the gap to 39-33 at halftime and went on a 24-13 run in the third quarter to take a 63-46 lead. But the Gaels surrendered 23 points in the fourth quarter and lost 75-71. Alaine Hutton of the Blues, the OUA’s second-leading scorer behind Moore, put up 20 points for Toronto and Nicki Schutz added 23 more.

Moore said it was a lack of mental toughness that led to the loss.

“It’s just a matter of everyone staying focused,” she said. “Mental mistakes lead to breakdowns and can cost you.”

Moore said a lack of cohesion also hurt the team in crucial moments.

“Everyone has to work together,” she said. “They got a few shots at the end and we just couldn’t convert.”

Moore said the Gaels learned that they can compete with the second-place Blues, though.

Saturday’s game also got a slow start from the Gaels. They trailed 21-16 after the first quarter but they closed to within five points at the half and put up 21 points in the third quarter to take a five-point lead. Ryerson threatened down the stretch, but the Gaels hung on to win 73-67.

Moore has been carrying the majority of the scoring load many nights this year, but she got plenty of help Saturday with Alaina Porter, Kendra Walker-Roche and Jill Wheat each scoring 10 or more points. Moore said she was thrilled to see her teammates scoring more.

“It’s great to see everyone contributing,” she said. “That’s when we’re successful as

a team.”

She added that the Gaels need to improve their performance early in games.

“We need to come out strong right out of the gate,” she said.

The Gaels face a pair of tough adversaries this weekend. They take on the 8-5 Ottawa Gee-Gees Friday night and then go up against the 9-4 Carleton Ravens Saturday.

The Gaels face the Gee-Gees Friday at 6 p.m. and play the Ravens Saturday at 6 p.m. Both games are in Bartlett Gym.

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