Offensive frenzy

Key threes lead way in win over Lady Vees

Fifth-year guard Liz Boag led the Gaels with 19 points in the team’s 80-52 victory over the Laurentian Lady Vees in their playoff opener. The game was Boag’s final career contest at home.
Fifth-year guard Liz Boag led the Gaels with 19 points in the team’s 80-52 victory over the Laurentian Lady Vees in their playoff opener. The game was Boag’s final career contest at home.

Women’s basketball rode a large first-half lead to victory in the first round of the post-season.

Queen’s beat the Laurentian Lady Vees 80-52 at home on Wednesday to set up an OUA quarterfinal matchup with the second-seeded Laurier Golden Hawks. A victory in tomorrow’s game would push the Gaels to the OUA Final Four for the second straight year.

Laurier eked out a 56-53 victory at the ARC when the two teams met on Nov. 15 — a game in which the Gaels shot a putrid 23.6 per cent from the floor.

Head coach Dave Wilson said Queen’s will need to meet their highest capabilities on offence to outlast the Golden Hawks.

“Laurier has been a thorn in our side for a couple of years. They’ve done a good job of shutting us down,” Wilson said. “We need to be confident with the basketball and do the things we’re capable of doing.”

Potent offence carried the Gaels through the opening half of the Laurentian contest. They held a 46-26 advantage heading into the interval.

The team connected on 40 per cent of their shots, including eight of 15 from beyond the three-point line.

Guard Abby Dixon helped Queen’s pull away late in the first quarter, draining a pair of threes 31 seconds apart to keep the Gaels tight with the Lady Vees.

After fifth-year guard Liz Boag sank a three-pointer of her own to put Queen’s up 16-14, the team didn’t trail for the remainder of the game.

Wilson said the important thing for the Gaels was to keep the pressure on Laurentian after gaining the lead. When the teams met in regular season play on Jan. 10, Queen’s led the Lady Vees 55-17 after two quarters, but only came away with an 89-62 victory after being outscored in the second half.

“It was actually a great lesson in the sense of having that to refer to, saying ‘we don’t want to have that happen in this game’,” Wilson said. “It’s maintaining that focus when you have a big lead. We never really felt the game was in doubt.”

Boag and Dixon led the way with 19 and 16 points, respectively. Dixon added nine rebounds, tied with forward Andrea Priamo for the most in the game.

The game was the final home contest for several veteran Gaels, including Boag. Wilson said the atmosphere added to the team’s desire to come away with the victory.

“This was just a nice way to finish it off, with a great crowd on hand here,” he said. “Liz being a local player, as well, is always nice. But she’s just that kind of competitor — she’s going to play that hard every day.”

The Gaels finished their regular season with wins over the Carleton Ravens and the Toronto Varsity Blues and losses at the hands of the Ottawa Gee-Gees and the Ryerson Rams, spread over the season’s last two weeks.

Boag said those four games helped Queen’s prepare for their playoff clash with the Lady Vees and for their upcoming game with Laurier.

“It was good just to get your flow going. You want to be peaking at this time of year, and we’ve played some of our better basketball these past few games,” Boag said. “So that’s always reassuring.”

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