No. 7 Gaels win big over Algoma

Blowout win primes Queen’s for big weekend against Ottawa, Carleton

Bridget Mulholland gets an acrobatic layup to fall.
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The women’s basketball team (8-4) took Algoma to task last Saturday, piling up on the visitors 84-34. The 50 point win amounts to one of the larger margins of victory in Queen’s history. 

Halftime of the match saw the best club teams from the fall semester honoured, with the sailing and cycling teams recognized for their championships, and their respective banners unfurled on the ARC’s Main Court’s North wall.

The Gaels played sublime defense throughout—Algoma nearly committed as many turnovers (33) as they scored points.

“I think the urgency with which we played defense was just awesome,” Head Coach James Bambury told The Journal after the game. “As a collective, 12 people were coming in and locking people up.”

Queen’s came out of the gates quickly, led by 11 first-quarter points by sophomore guard Emma Weltz. 

In the second, the Queen’s lead ballooned to 29 as the women held Algoma to just three field goals in the quarter. Halftime came around with the score at 45-16.

Freshman Isabella Belvedere stole the ball midway through the third quarter and then spun and finished at the rack, which brought the crowd to its feet. She followed it up on the next possession with a sweet dish to Natalie Froese, who hit the jumper.

The fourth quarter played out in much the same fashion as the first three, with Algoma unable to get anything going in the face of intense defensive pressure from Queen’s.

The game mercifully ended, the band started playing, and everyone was doing the Oil Thigh.

The crowd of 100, led by the boisterous contingent of athletes and band members in attendance, was treated to the most comfortable of games, a game where the home team was always ahead and the result was never in question.

The Gaels led in every major statistical category. 

“It’s great,” said Bambury about the energetic crowd. “Leading into Nationals next year, it makes us excited to see what that could potentially be like." 

The Gaels are hosting the national championships next year, so they’re automatically qualified for the tournament. Once they get there, they’ll be facing some familiar opponents.

Ottawa and Carleton are two of the top teams in the nation, ranked third and fourth respectively, and they’ve traditionally represented a stumbling block for the Gaels.

But this November, the Gaels took on the Gee-Gees and the Ravens on consecutive days and bagged two massive comeback wins. 

On Friday, Queen’s is taking the bus to the nation’s capital looking for a repeat of the upsets from earlier in the season to gain some ground in the OUA East standings. 

“Next weekend's a big one for us,” said Bambury. “We were able to pull the double last time, and it was the first time in, I don’t even know how long.”

“The nice thing is that we can score with any team in the country, we have weapons everywhere.”

The Gaels, owners of the second-most prolific offense in Ontario, are going to have to lean on their offensive versatility—the Gee-Gees allow the fourth-fewest points per game in the OUA, and Carleton allows the third fewest.

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