Weekend wins over capital city teams shoot Gaels up national rankings

Huge comeback wins over Carleton, Ottawa, make for statement sweep

The Gaels, including #15 Sophie de Goede, were unstoppable in the second half of their sensational comeback win against Carleton.
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Women’s basketball made waves nationally last weekend when they beat both the Carleton Ravens and the Ottawa Gee-Gees in stunning fashion.

The then-No. 6 Gaels went into Friday’s heavyweight bout with the then-No. 4 Ravens as slight underdogs. The teams ended the first quarter knotted at 19 apiece, and the first half of the second quarter was much more of the same dog-fighting action.

However, in the second half of the second, Carleton went on a massive run. The Gaels were looking disarrayed, making unforced turnovers for fun, while Carleton couldn’t stop making tough buckets—those end-of-the-shot-clock, hands-in-your-face-fadeaway kind of tough buckets. When halftime mercifully came around, the Gaels were down big, 44 - 29.

Head Coach James Bambury must be some talented orator, because when the third quarter started, it was a new Queen’s team taking the floor. 

In the second quarter, Carleton’s length disrupted Queen’s fast-paced ball movement. In the third quarter, the Gaels turned to more dribble penetration and post-play until Carleton started collapsing, and then the kickouts started in earnest and the threes started pouring in. One final exclamation-mark three from Julia Chadwick at the end of the third brought Queen’s to within four of Carleton going into the fourth.

The fourth quarter was electric, with both teams making ridiculous shots and playing with unbelievable hustle. The Gaels seemed to want it a little more, though, as all the jump balls and offensive rebounds they wrestled for could attest to. Queen’s nearly doubled Carleton’s offensive rebound total by the end of the game (22 to 12).

Queen’s was winning the battle of second-chance points, bench points, and points off turnovers, and they all started adding up quickly. With 7:00 left to play, the Gaels tied the game at 59.

Then, the action really picked up. The teams were going bucket-for-bucket down the stretch at an amazing clip.

The game, naturally, went down to the wire. The Gaels were up three with less than 30 seconds to go, and Carleton called a timeout. On the ensuing inbound, Queen’s put immense defensive pressure on Carleton and forced a crucial five-second violation.

Sophie de Goede got the ball for Queen’s off the turnover and was quickly intentionally fouled. Where she had trouble at the line all afternoon, de Goede ignored the pressure when it mattered and iced the game with two consecutive free throws. The Gaels won, 76 - 71.

Carleton’s Alyssa Cerino, who racked up 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks to go with a pair of steals on the defensive end, and Queen’s Julia Chadwick, who poured in 19 points on great efficiency and snagged 9 rebounds, deserve special recognition for their efforts in the clutch in this game.

“We knew [the Ravens] were going to make runs,” explained Coach Bambury to The Journal after the match. “We stuck to the game-plan, and it was just a great team win.”

As for the explosive start the Gaels had coming out of halftime, Bambury said it was the expectation. “We just focused on our habits […] We did a much better job defending as a group, as a collective, in that second half.”

The next game, against then-No. 2 Ottawa on Nov. 9, was another gritty affair that saw the women come back from a deficit that hovered around the low double digits throughout the first half. 

The Gaels then once again turned on the jets in the second half, ultimately coming away with an 81 - 75 victory. 

For their efforts, Queen’s leap-frogged over both Carleton and Ottawa in the national rankings. They are now No. 3, which is tied for the highest ranking in program history.

 

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