Women’s Basketball earn first U Sports medal with win over Brock

Gaels finish third place in Final 8, prove they are among nation’s best in 2022

The gaels won their first national medal in program history.
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After a historic run at the U Sports Final 8, the Women’s Basketball team have earned their first U Sports medal in program history.
 
The Gaels downed the Brock Badgers 75-57 in the bronze medal match on homecourt Apr. 3. The Gaels’ previous best finishes at the Final 8 were fourth place in 2001 and 2017.
 
“This is a big step forward for us,” head coach Claire Meadows told The Journal after the game.
 
“We knew coming into this tournament that we could compete and we could contend, so we proved ourselves. If anything, it was just a statement as to who we are as a team.”
 
The Gaels broke out with a 14-point lead in the first quarter, but Brock managed to close that gap and come within five points by halftime.
 
In the third, the Gaels opened a nine-point lead that propelled them into a dominant fourth quarter. Isabella Belvedere, Comm ’23, and Julia Chadwick, ArtSci ’22, traded baskets throughout the first half of the fourth, scoring 13 points between them to stretch out the lead.
 
The Gaels outscored the Badgers by nine points in the fourth and sealed the win with an 18- point surplus. Queen’s outshot Brock with 37.3 per cent from the floor and 31.4 per cent from three-point range.
 
Belvedere was named Nike Player of the Game for her performance. The third-year guard played 17 minutes off the bench and scored a team-high 22 points during the win.
 
“We have a special program,” Belvedere said after the game.
 
“We’ve definitely been doubted a bit in the past, so I think [winning] means proving ourselves and proving to myself that I’m able to compete with the best of the best.”
 
Chadwick finished with a double-double and recorded 16 points and 13 rebounds. Seniors Emma Weltz, Nurs ’22 and Laura Donovan, Nurs ’22 also led the scoreboard, recording 10 and nine points each.
 
Emma Ritcey, ArtSci ’22, was named a tournament All-Star after putting up big numbers in the Gaels’ close loss to the Winnipeg Wesmen in the Semifinals.
 
It was an emotional game for many of the team’s senior players, especially dual-sport athlete Sophie de Goede, Comm ’22, who rounded out her monumental rugby and basketball careers with two U Sports medals this year.
 
“Maybe years down the line it will settle in,” de Goede said with a laugh after the game.
 
“Ending the season with a win at a National Championship at home, it’s been storybook, from the rugby championship to the basketball [championship].”
 
“The past week has just been about trying to perform to the best of our abilities. We wanted to get the gold, but we are really happy to have come away with the bronze and to win a medal.”

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