Gaels streak past Lions

Queen’s wins fifth straight with added veteran presence

One dominant quarter extended women’s basketball’s winning streak to five games.

The Gaels outscored the York Lions 24-8 in the third frame of their Saturday matchup, blowing open a halftime deadlock. While the Lions cut the lead slightly in the fourth, Queen’s held on for a 66-56 victory.

“It was a weird game of momentum shifts,” said Gaels fifth-year guard Liz Boag. “They were hitting from three, which was tough, but I think we did a good job of keeping our composure.”

The Gaels (7-3) looked strong offensively in the first quarter, posting 22 points, but struggled on the defensive end.

After the Lions evened the score in the second quarter, a strong third-quarter effort was needed to secure the victory.

Second-year post Andrea Priamo led the way, scoring eight points to key Queen’s offensive surge. A solid defensive effort and six turnovers limited scoring opportunities for York.

“I think we finally just started to get stops on defence,” Boag said, “which fueled our momentum on offence and we were able to get easy buckets in transition.”

The Gaels received a boost in the return of guard Gemma Bullard. The veteran had missed the entire season to date due to a concussion, and Boag said her presence on the floor helped the team.

“It’s really good for the entire team’s morale – to have 15 players healthy, it’s really great,” she said. “Gemma’s a veteran player, so to have her on the floor, her leadership and knowledge of the game is a really good calming sense on the floor, especially for younger players.”

While winning five straight games — including all three they’ve played since the holiday break — has given the Gaels a boost, only one of the five has come against an opponent currently in playoff position.

“It’s definitely good to go into the new year with three wins in a row,” Boag said. “It’s good to get momentum that way, but I think we’ve also been playing well despite the weak competition, so it’s definitely a confidence-builder for us heading into the harder part of our season now.”

Two of the Gaels’ next three games come against opponents ranked in the CIS top 10. After hosting the ninth-ranked Ryerson Rams (9-3) on Saturday, Queen’s will travel to face the top-seeded Windsor Lancers (9-1) on Jan. 30.

In addition to the contest with Ryerson, the Gaels host the Toronto Varsity Blues (6-4) on Friday night. Both games start at 6 p.m.

OUA Women’s Basketball RPI (Rating Percentage Index) rankings

The top three teams in all four OUA divisions will advance to the playoffs. Based off their performance in games against other playoff teams, the 12 schools will be seeded 1-12, with the top four schools receiving a bye for the first round of the post-season.

1. Laurier

2. Windsor

3. Lakehead

4. McMaster

5. Ryerson

6. Ottawa

7. Queen’s

8. Toronto

9. Carleton

10. Western

11. Guelph

12. Laurentian

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