Gaels top Blues & Rams

Pair of wins stretches women’s basketball’s win streak to five games

Gaels’ guard Paige Robinson (middle) dives to keep the ball in play at Bartlett on Saturday. The Gaels beat Ryerson 69-65.
Gaels’ guard Paige Robinson (middle) dives to keep the ball in play at Bartlett on Saturday. The Gaels beat Ryerson 69-65.

This weekend, the women’s basketball team closed out their career in Bartlett Gym by beating the Toronto Varsity Blues and the Ryerson Rams, extending their win streak to five games.

On Friday, the Gaels took on Toronto, topping the Blues 68-50.

After matching the Blues for scoring in the first half at 26 points each, the Gaels exploded out of the gate in the second half, ending the third quarter with a 52-38 lead.

“I thought the practices we had during the week really led us well into that game,” head coach Dave Wilson said. “We talked about a couple of adjustments at half, and how we wanted to dominate the start of the third quarter. I thought we dominated the game and really got things rolling.”

The Gaels never looked back from there, expanding their lead in the fourth quarter.

Fifth-year wing Katie Guthrie led the charge with 23 points. Fourth-year post Erin Skippon added 14 points and third-year guard Brittany Moore had 10. Skippon also notched 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Third-year wing Christine Wallace said the team’s preparations in the last few weeks helped them against Toronto.

“During practice, we have been working on our defence and different ways of guarding people with different skills,” she said. “We’ve been working hard as a team, and that seemed to pay off.”

On Saturday, the Gaels beat the Ryerson Rams in a 69-65 barnburner.

The teams traded leads throughout the first half, with the Rams pulling away in the last 90 seconds to finish the half with a 29-24 advantage.

“There were a lot of things that weren’t working at that point. Turnovers and defensive boards were basically the biggest problems we had during the game,” Wilson said.

The Rams retained a 50-44 edge going into the final frame.

The Gaels slowly clawed away at the Rams’ lead throughout the fourth.

With 1:30 remaining, Wallace stole the ball under the net for a quick layup, giving Queen’s the lead they held for the rest of the game. Wallace also led the Gaels in scoring with 16 points on the night.

Other leading scorers include fourth-year wing Maddie Soye with 12, Moore with 11 and Skippon with 11 points and 12 boards, good for her second double-double of the weekend.

Wilson said the game only really came together in the last frame.

“The strengths, I think, were only evident in the last four minutes of the game,” he said. “At that point, we actually changed our defensive scheme... and did a much better job on the defensive boards. In the last five minutes, we did not turn the ball over a single time.”

After this weekend’s wins, the Gaels are tied with Carleton University for the top position in league rankings.

Wilson said the team has to move past the rankings and progress game-by-game.

“The danger with young teams is that the sense of fulfillment can be distracting. So I’d rather not worry about the record and just concentrate on being better.”

Moore said the rankings shouldn’t play into the team’s performance.

“Obviously, having this kind of target on us [shouldn’t be a factor].”

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