Lineup change pays off

Sydney Kernahan starts and Gaels win twice at home

The women’s basketball team won two straight home games this weekend to move into third place in the OUA East.
The women’s basketball team won two straight home games this weekend to move into third place in the OUA East.

A personnel adjustment translated into two wins for the women’s basketball team over the weekend.

Head coach Dave Wilson replaced post Hannah Koposhynska with Sydney Kernahan in the starting lineup as a reward for Kernahan’s strong play in recent games.

“We’re not usually very quick at making changes to the starting lineup … but [Kernahan] has just come in and given us great energy with her rebounding,” he said. “So we felt it was time to give her the opportunity to start.” The Gaels won 64-51 over the Laurentian Lady Vees at the ARC on Friday, followed with a 75-69 victory over the York Lions on Saturday. The two wins improve Queen’s record to 7-5, pushing them to third in the OUA East.

Kernahan — who leads her team in rebounding with 6.9 per game — took a charge in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game, sealing the win against the Lions with a pair of free throws.

Koposhynska said she understood why Kernahan replaced her on the weekend.

“I know from practice, I hate playing against her because she’s just so strong,” Koposhynska said. “I can’t even imagine what the girls during the game go through.”

Wing Christine Wallace got off to a quick start against the Lions and didn’t stop. She notched five points, grabbed three rebounds, and tallied one assist in the first quarter and finished the game with a double-double, posting 10 points and collecting 11 rebounds.

“[Wallace] is a veteran,” Wilson said. “She wants to play harder and harder all the time and it just shows what she’s capable of doing.”

During Friday’s game against Laurentian, the Gaels outscored the Lady Vees 21-10 in the first quarter and held onto the lead. Emma Decloe — the Lady Vees’ leading rebounder and second-best scorer — picked up three early fouls in the first quarter and was benched for the majority of the first half.

Guard Brittany Moore scored a game-high 23 points along with three assists and three steals. She capped a 10-2 fourth-quarter run with back-to-back three-pointers.

Despite the win, coach Wilson said he wasn’t impressed with his team’s performance on Friday night.

“I’m disappointed with our execution … I’m disappointed with our mental preparedness coming into the game,” he said. “If we’re going to be a good basketball team, we need to bring a level of consistency of play everyday.

“If we do that, we dominate this [Laurentian] team.”

The Gaels are on the road this weekend to face the only two teams ahead of them in the OUA East standings — the second-place Carleton Ravens on Friday and the first-place Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday.

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