Winning streak snapped at sixteen for women’s basketball

Gaels follow loss to Carleton with win against Ottawa

Emily Hazlett on the attack.
Emily Hazlett on the attack.

The women’s basketball team’s historic winning streak came to a unfortunate close this past weekend as women’s basketball fell to the Carleton Ravens 60-52. The loss marks their first of the season, but the Gaels were quick to bounce back with a victory over the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday.

Friday nights’ loss ultimately came down to the Gaels’ shooting performance. For the first three quarters against the Ravens, the Gaels shot 38.73 per cent from the field, but just 19.05 per cent in the fourth, and only 16.67 per cent from three and 50 per cent from the free throw line.

“It was a very physical game and Carleton uses positional defence where they don’t give you open looks, and it’s the same thing we try and do to the opposition,” said the Gaels’ head coach, Dave Wilson. “If you don’t give them open looks the players don’t get in their rhythm and so when it gets later in the game and they haven’t had a good open look they tend to rush a little bit.”

In comparison to the Gaels’ 4-21 shooting and 1-6 from three in the fourth, Carleton shot 6-10 and 2-3 respectively. The Ravens also nailed 7-10 free throws while the Gaels struggled to find their shots. The Gaels were only down by one point at the 5:34 mark, but scored just six points in comparison to the Ravens’ 13 down the final stretch.

“I thought they really did a good job of exploiting the size differential at that point,” Wilson said. “They did a good job of realizing who had the mismatch and capitalizing and isolating and, honestly, they hit shots. They hit a couple of threes that we weren’t able to hit all game long.”

For the whole game the Gaels kept creeping up on the Ravens, however Carleton maintained a steady two-three possession lead for most of the game. Queen’s didn’t make any significant runs that gave them a comfortable lead. The biggest damage they dealt was a 6-0 run to end the third and put themselves up by one.

“The problem with their defence is it’s hard to get runs … they have length on us, they can outsize us on both ends of the floor in most positions, and that’s unusual for a team to do that to us. They are one team that can go out there with a lineup where the shortest player is six feet,” Wilson said.

Queen’s released their frustration at this loss in their 55-44 victory over the Gee-Gees on Saturday. Queen’s started the game off with a 6-0 run but Ottawa put a significant amount of pressure on the Gaels’ offence during the second quarter. The Gaels shot 31.6 per cent in comparison to Ottawa’s 50 per cent shooting in the second.

A crucial factor that had to be improved from Friday’s performance was the ability to knock down shots. Wilson made a point in saying that both teams didn’t shoot well from the field, 35 per cent for Ottawa and 34.4 per cent for Queen’s. However, a critical difference came down to three-point percentage, especially in the fourth quarter.

The Gaels went on a tear in the final six-minutes of the fourth with a 10-0 run – Bridget Mulholland scoring 11 points in just eight minutes. Mulholland hit back-to-back threes, solidifying a Queen’s victory as Ottawa scored just two points in the final three minutes.

“It’s a back-breaker for the opposition to have a team come down and hit back-to-back threes, which is what Carleton did to us yesterday,” Wilson said. “This is something that Bridget is quite capable of doing … and that’s only scratching the surface with Bridget; she’s a phenomenal player and it’s just going to get better and better.”

The Gaels are 17-1 with their final game of the regular season coming up this weekend as they prepare to host the York Lions on Friday evening. The Gaels are on route for a top three finish in the OUA, which will give them a first-round bye in playoffs before hosting a quarterfinal game.

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