First taste of defeat for women's basketball

Four-game winning streak ended after 69-50 loss

After splitting the weekend games against McMaster and Brock, the Gaels are at the top of the OUA East with a 4-1 record.
After splitting the weekend games against McMaster and Brock, the Gaels are at the top of the OUA East with a 4-1 record.
After a hot start to the year, women’s basketball lost their first game of the season this weekend, putting their record at 4-1.
A night after winning 60-53 against the McMaster Marauders, Queen’s was swept clean 69-50 by the Brock Badgers. 
While the Gaels’ clutch performance resulted in a Friday night victory, that hustle and intensity wouldn’t carry over to a win on Saturday night against the sixth nationally-ranked Brock Badgers. 
“I think we showed a bit of lethargy … both physically and emotionally, and you can’t afford to do that with a good team like Brock,” head coach Dave Wilson said after the loss.
Going into halftime with the score tied at 24, both teams went into the third quarter with a clean slate. However, the Badgers took control over the momentum of the game, going into the fourth with a comfortable lead of 54-37. 
Despite Wilson’s emphasis on shot making in practices, there was an inability to hit shots on the night. As a result, the Gaels were  unable to get stops in the fourth period and lost the game by 19. 
Knowing they had difficulty finding the basket, the Gaels tried to alter their defence in the hopes of providing better chances for easier buckets. 
“We changed the defence up to the front court … because at that point the shots were not falling, despite the fact that we had open looks,” Wilson said.
On Friday, the Gaels had an inconsistent first half against the Marauders. While they finished the first quarter ahead 14-9, they scored only five points in the second quarter. Going into half time, they were down 22-19. 
Although the Gaels started to turn things around coming out of halftime, they finished the third quarter with a 36-33 lead.  With five lead changes in the quarter, this was a back-and-forth performance that had the audience on the edge of their seats.  
“Our whole focus has been on getting our team to believe that they can shoot the basketball,” Wilson said. “In the first half we actually shot the ball better from the three point line than we did from inside … so we said, ‘you know what, take more threes.”
“We had a really good week of practice,” he said. “We shot the ball really well during the week, and that’s where we’ve been struggling the most.”
In addition to bringing a refined shooting performance, the Gaels changed up their defence to match the Marauders’ tactical play.
“What was really important about this game was that we brought a defence in this week that McMaster hasn’t seen before, and our goal was to take their best player out of the game,” Wilson said. 
With this increase in defensive pressure, Robyn Pearson snagged three steals while Emily Hazlett added two of her own. One of Hazlett’s steals resulted in a three-pointer from Abby Dixon, which put the Gaels ahead by 13 with 6:53 to go. 
“She’s a real competitor,” Wilson said. “She’s a kid that plays her best when the chips are down, and that’s what you saw out of her in the fourth quarter.”
Hazlett said she’s always been more of a defensive player and she likes to play with her opponents’ heads. 
“I play around with them and wait,” Hazlett said, “until they kind of leave the 
ball out for me at the end of the game. Instead of trying to get it at the start, [I] play around with their mind.” 
To solidify their win, Robyn Pearson hit a jump shot with under 20 seconds to go, putting the Gaels ahead by seven. Pearson stole the ball with 15 seconds to go, destroying the chances of a Marauder come back.
After the split performance, the Gaels travel to Waterloo this weekend to take on the Waterloo Warriors and Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks.

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