Stangs saved by the bell

A near upset over Western was the highlight of the weekend for the 1-7 Gaels

Guard Brittany Moore charges down the court while battling a Mustang player on Saturday.
Guard Brittany Moore charges down the court while battling a Mustang player on Saturday.
Post Jill Wheat’s shot is blocked by Western’s defensive efforts.
Post Jill Wheat’s shot is blocked by Western’s defensive efforts.

With the women’s basketball team struggling on the road, they were looking for a cure at home for their five game losing streak. The weekend’s competition offered no easy out as the Gaels faced the Windsor Lancers and the Western Mustangs, both nationally ranked teams. With a 77-58 loss to the Lancers, the Gaels nearly upset the Mustangs, but lost 65-64 on Saturday.

The Gaels have been on the road for the last two weekends where they suffered four straight losses. Head coach Dave Wilson said their play on the road had been sloppy but he saw a difference in his team’s play at the ARC.

“For the most part, I thought we played very hard,” said head coach Dave Wilson. “That was very important to us ... Both games we played very hard which gives us opportunities and [then] we have opportunities to do things and improve.”

The Gaels faced tough competition starting the weekend’s games against the CIS-leading Lancers. The Gaels couldn’t catch a break as four Lancers scored in double figures, and their defence kept Queen’s to 10 and 11 points in the second and third quarter respectively. The Lancers continue to be one of the most dominant teams in the CIS. They have outscored their opponents by double digits in all of their six wins this season.

After the close game against Western, Wilson said the team talked about their issues in the previous road game.

“When I asked the girls what the difference was [this weekend] ... they said they were just fed up with how poorly they were playing,” he said. “I said well that’s fine, just be fed up all the time then and play a little bit harder.”

The Gaels showed improvement in their game against the Western Mustangs, who are tied for first in the OUA with a 7-1 record. Queen’s maintained a tight a game with Western through four quarters, grabbing the lead at several points in the game.

“There were a number of things that we did that took [Western] out of their rhythm of what they were trying to do,” he said. “They had a little bit of difficulty defending what we were doing offensively because we had some ideas of what we thought we could exploit with them that seemed to be quite effective.”

The Gaels lost the lead in the dying minutes of the game and were unable to capitalize on a last-ditch three-pointer by guard Brittany Moore.

“I was a little disappointed that we didn’t take care of the ball as well as I thought we could of,” Wilson said. “We were very sloppy with the ball. At times I thought [we] could have given us ... a more significant lead that would have been harder for Western to overcome. I thought there were opportunities to win the game that we missed out on.”

Moore controlled play in the Western game. She was the game’s top scorer with 21 points and was 8 for 17 from the floor in 31 minutes of play. Wilson said her performance is a testament to how hard she works.

“[Moore] is one of the hardest working kids in terms of working on her game both in-season and out-of-season,” he said. “She gets special attention from the opposition in almost every game we play. Western was no different. So she expends a great deal of energy, just trying to get open to score. It’s quite an amazing feat that she can score as much as she does with the attention that she draws.”

Wilson said the difference in the Gaels’ game against the Mustangs was their attitude.

“They’ve shown the ability to learn what the opposition is doing, to execute a game plan, not perfectly by any means but they can execute a game plan,” he said. “The real key is the attitude they bring to the start of the game. If they come in prepared to play hard as they have for the last three games, we’ll be in very good shape going into this game. If we don’t bring this attitude, this will be a huge struggle.”

The Gaels will face off against the RMC Paladins for their final game before the winter break on Thursday. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. at RMC.

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