Queen’s open ARC on high

Pair of wins to open women’s basketball’s account in new gym

Gaels’ wing Katie Guthrie fights off a Laurentian player during Friday’s 64-62 win at the ARC.
Gaels’ wing Katie Guthrie fights off a Laurentian player during Friday’s 64-62 win at the ARC.
Guard Paige Robinson goes up for a layup during Friday’s win over the Lady Vees.
Guard Paige Robinson goes up for a layup during Friday’s win over the Lady Vees.

The women’s basketball team played their first two games in the new Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC) this weekend, beating the Laurentian Lady Vees in a 64-62 nailbiter and the York Lions 64-55.

The Gaels had an uncertain start on Friday against Laurentian, trailing by a significant margin in the first quarter before narrowing the gap to close the frame with a 19-16 deficit. The second quarter was even worse for the Gaels, who trailed by 11 before narrowing the deficit to 36-28 at the end of the first half.

Head coach Dave Wilson said the Gaels’ shots weren’t dropping.

“We got way more shots than they did, even though we shot way less in terms of percentage.” The third quarter was much of the same, with the Gaels trailing 52-44 going into the final frame.

“It’s a tough situation,” Wilson said. “We try to put ourselves in situations where we can get the ball to the rim a little more often.”

The Gaels continued to trail the Lady Vees until the final minute of play, when fifth-year wing Katie Guthrie penetrated the Laurentian defence for two quick layups, giving Queen’s the narrow victory.

Wilson said Guthrie’s performance improved the team as a whole.

“It’s the energy she brings,” he said. “She brings the level of everybody else up at the same time because they see her competing hard, and they want to compete hard as well.” Third-year guard Brittany Moore led scoring with 20 points, followed by first-year guard Paige Robinson with 12 and Guthrie with 11. Fourth-year post Jill Wheat and third-year wing Christine Wallace each added 10 rebounds.

Wallace said the key to success was preparation.

“I think preparation for the game helped us a lot, especially against Laurentian. They’re a very physical team, and we were able to come out and be as physical. We were trailing the whole game, and came out at the end with a big burst of energy.”

On Saturday, the Gaels took on the York Lions, beating the Lions 64-54.

The Gaels took off to an early lead and never looked back, finishing the first half with a 25-19 lead.

Wilson said the team felt overconfident.

“It’s a little bit of complacency in the fact that we beat them before ... it’s a little bit of fatigue ... and a York team fired up over a win yesterday. Put all of those things together, and it’s not a pretty performance.”

The Lions went on a run in the third quarter, knotting the score at 33-33.

Wallace said the Gaels lost their focus.

“A lack of mental focus was taking over the game,” she said. “[But] we stayed in it and tried to stay composed.”

The Gaels pulled it together to finish the third quarter with a 46-36 lead, and held this through the final frame.

Wallace had a solid game, notching 15 points and eight rebounds. Wheat repeated her performance from the previous night with 10 rebounds. Fourth-year wing Maddie Soye added 13 points and nine rebounds.

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