Women’s basketball sweeps weekend series

Gaels blow past Nipissing and Laurentian, Alarie hits 1,000 point milestone

Fifth-year Marianne Alarie eclipsed the 1,000 point mark this weekend.

After posting two consecutive blowouts against the Nipissing Lakers and Laurentian Voyageurs—beating the former 95-69 and the latter 72-46—over the weekend, the women’s basketball team (11-7) is a contender come playoff time in February.

Facing Nipissing and Laurentian on Friday and Saturday night respectively, the Gaels showcased their impressive shooting skills and selflessness with the ball.

Against Nipissing (3-15-0), Queen’s shot 50 per cent from the field and finished the game with 29 assists off of 39 made shots, cruising to a comfortable 95-69 win.

In an interview with The Journal, Head Coach Dave Wilson said his team’s game against Nipissing represented a turning point in their season.

“We started sharp right off the bat, and our shooting percentage was very good. We’re getting back to where we were in the fall [play-wise].”

In their game against Laurentian (6-12-0), Queen’s once again made a showing of their offensive tenacity—but this time backed it up with impressive efficiency on defense.

Holding the Voyageurs to a meager 25 per cent field goal percentage for the game, the Gaels extended their lead to 30 points at one point in the third quarter. Behind a strong rebounding performance—Queen’s edged Laurentian 49-34 on the boards—the women got their 11th win of the season in 72-46 victory.

“[Tonight] we played a defense that we don’t play all that often […] I thought the key to our success was what we did defensively,” Wilson said.

“Offensively, we’re still turning the ball over more than I would like to see. But thank goodness for our defense and our rebounding for keeping us solid in the game”

When asked about where he thinks the Gaels could improve in their remaining regular season, Wilson spoke to the very thing that put Queen’s ahead in their game against Laurentian—defense.

“[We still need to work on] our defense and different combinations of what we do defensively,” Wilson said.

Meanwhile, the most notable aspect of the Gaels’ weekend was fifth-year Marianne Alarie reaching the 1,000 point milestone with the team.

Alarie—who currently leads the Gaels in scoring and three-point shots made—almost passed the benchmark after her game against Nipissing, needing only four more.

After two quick buckets against the Voyageurs the subsequent night, Alarie quietly cemented her legacy as part of women’s basetball at Queen’s. She’s the fourth play in program history to reach the 1,000 point mark, along Liz Boag (1,005), Jenny Wright (1,167) and Brittany Moore (1,652).

“Watching the growth of her game, from the time that she came to Queen’s five years ago until now, has been amazing, and her ability to help lead her teammates to success has also been amazing,” Wilson said of Alarie.

Looking ahead, the Gaels have an important stretch of play ahead before the season ends in February.

Despite being slated to play strong teams York (8-10-0), Carleton (15-3-0), and UOttawa (16-2-0) within the next two weeks, Wilson’s confident his team can close out their season in a comfortable position and clinch home-court advantage in the playoffs.

“No question, we would like to be playing in a home game in the first round of the playoffs, and that for sure is very doable.”

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