Bitter sweet celebration

Women’s basketball falls to the McGill Martlets on CBC’s ‘Sports Day in Canada’

Women’s basketball ends ‘Sports Day in Canada’ with a 78-58 loss to the McGill Martlets.
Women’s basketball ends ‘Sports Day in Canada’ with a 78-58 loss to the McGill Martlets.
Photo By Justin Chin

The Gaels celebrated the 100th anniversary of women’s basketball at Queen’s with an exhibition game against the McGill Martlets on Saturday. As part of CBC’s Sports Day in Canada, the game was broadcast live on national television. The Gaels trailed throughout the game and lost with a final score of 78-58.

The Martlets controlled the game from the very beginning, breaking down the Gaels’ defence to take a 40-31 lead at halftime.

“I was disappointed in the first half because I thought we were outhustled and outworked,” Gaels head coach Dave Wilson said.

The Gaels began to adapt to their opponent in the second half, but had a hard time containing Martlet starters Francoise Charest, A. Him-Lazarenko and Natalie Larocque, who combined for 54 points.

Wilson said his team is very young this year, and it will take them some time to adjust to university-level basketball.

“We now have a total of [five] years of experience on the team,” Wilson said. “The normal team would have somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20 years of experience, 20 to 25. So it’s tough ... it’s a new game for these kids.”

Wilson said his team will go back to the practice regimen they had been pursuing this summer, in preparation for the regular season.

“Now we can go back to our normal routine,” he said. “[We’re going to be] cleaning up some things offensively and then starting to build a defence.”

The Gaels were missing last year’s leading scorer, Brittany Moore, who is dealing with an injury. Fourth-year player Christine Wallace exited the game with an injury after scoring seven points.

First-year players Gemma Bullard and Rachel Urosevic led scoring with 12 points and 11 points respectively. Returning player Hanna Koposhynska was named player of the game with 13 rebounds and nine points.

Bullard said the age factor may have played a role in the defeat.

“Teams go on runs,” she said. “You really need your leaders to step up and sort of relax everybody, and we have so many first-year players that we just didn’t have that today.”

She said the team was naturally unprepared, but they will improve as the season approaches.

“You can’t teach seven first-year players all the stuff [they need to know] in the three weeks we’ve had to practice,” she said. “We’ll get there, it’s just a matter of time.”

The Gaels will start their season on Nov. 5 against Wilfred Laurier.

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