Gaels miss mark against McMaster

Shooting woes lead to massive loss on the road

A horrendous shooting performance doomed women’s basketball to a blowout loss over the weekend.

The Gaels connected on just 25.7 per cent of their field goal attempts — including shooting three of 18 from beyond the three-point arc — in a 74-45 road loss to the McMaster Marauders on Saturday. The 45 points were Queen’s lowest offensive total of the season.

The loss meant the Gaels (9-6) dropped further back of a top-four spot in the OUA, which comes with a first-round playoff bye.

First-half shooting woes led to the defeat against the Marauders (12-4), according to Gaels head coach Dave Wilson.

“Our shots weren’t even close. We shot air balls, we shot short, we shot long,” Wilson said. “We never really recovered from that initial poor start.”

Queen’s kept the game even at 12-12 through the first quarter, despite hitting just a quarter of their shots. Problems arose in the second frame, when they shot three of 20 from the floor and gave up 26 points to the Marauders.

Wilson said the Gaels created the shots they wanted to take, but couldn’t execute on those scoring opportunities.

“Finishing can be pretty damn fickle, and it was that day,” he said. “When you’re playing a team game like that, you think ‘somebody can be cold’ — it’s just when you have all your shooters going cold at the same time, it’s demoralizing.”

Guards Liz Boag and Jenny Wright had particularly rough days against McMaster, shooting 21 and 15 per cent, respectively — well below their season averages. No Gael hit more than 50 per cent of their shot attempts.

Wilson said the Gaels’ missed shots created a snowball effect, since McMaster took advantage of them to create their own offensive opportunities.

“They ended up going for 12 for 19 in the second quarter and that was it,” he said. “The game was pretty much over at that point.”

McMaster added to their lead in the second half, outscoring the Gaels 36-24 in the final 20 minutes.

Wilson said he’s confident Queen’s will bounce back from their poor performance.

“I expect it to be a blip on the radar, that we’re going to come back and play great basketball this weekend,” he said. “We’ve gone from playing almost our best basketball to almost our worst basketball for no real accountable reason.”

According to Wilson, the key to getting back into the form the Gaels had two weekends ago in an 86-72 victory over the Western Mustangs (6-11) is to forget about their play against McMaster and focus on their upcoming opponents — the Carleton Ravens (7-8) and Ottawa Gee-Gees (10-5).

The Gaels host Carleton on Friday and Ottawa on Saturday in their final home games of the season.

Wilson said depth will be an important factor in both games, since both Carleton and Ottawa are struggling with injuries.

“The quicker pace of the game that we can keep, the better it is for us,” he said. “We’re much deeper than both those teams. They will struggle if they have to go into their bench — if they even have bench available.”

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

The top three teams in each OUA division will advance to the playoffs. Based off their performance 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. Windsor

2. Laurier

3. Lakehead

4. Ryerson

5. McMaster

6. Ottawa

7. Queen’s

8. Toronto

9. Carleton

10. Laurentian

11. Guelph

12. Western

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