Queen's Women's Basketball defeats the Nipissing Lakers

Gaels rely on strong defense and three pointers

The Gaels bench prays as Lireesa Gokhool-Jefferson attempts a three.
Credit: 
Supplied by Robin Kasem
The Women’s Basketball team won their second game of the regular season with a score of 81-41, defeating the Nipissing Lakers. 
 
During the first quarter, the Gaels rebounded well, out-hustling the Lakers who played at a slower pace and struggled to put the ball in the hoop. Queen’s physically had them holding a strong 44-25 lead by the end of the first half. 
 
Throughout the third and fourth quarters, Queen’s held a consistent 20-point lead over Nipissing. Every time Nipissing gained momentum, Queen’s retaliated. The Gaels were red hot from three, shooting an impressive 43 per cent on shots from behind the arc. 
 
The second half closed 81-41, a dominant win for the Gaels. Julia Chadwick, a fifth year forward, led Queen’s with 22 points. The Gael’s defense forced 22 turnovers on which they scored 28 points. The team also improved their free throw percentage by 1 5 per cent from their game the night before, where they defeated the Laurentian Voyageurs on home territory at the ARC.
 
Last year, the women’s team finished their season with a 9-5 record and made it to the second round of the OUA Playoffs. The team won the Bronze Medal when they competed in the USPORTS Final 8, which they hosted at the ARC last April. 
 
While some of the Gaels best players graduated—including OUA Second-Team All-Star Sophie de Goede—they still have a strong group of returning veterans.
 
“We have a lot of senior leaders, it’s really nice to have that experience,” fourth-year guard Isabella Belvedere said in a post-game interview with The Journal. 
 
Head Coach Claire Meadows is on the same page as Belvedere and believes having experienced players benefits the team dynamic and contributes to their success. 
 
“In terms of our leadership experience, especially after how we performed at the end of the year last year, getting that core group of players back is essential for us to meet our goals and expectations this year,” Coach Meadows said in a press release.
 
Despite this only being Coach Meadow’s second season as head coach, she’s no rookie when it comes to the game of basketball. 
 
Meadows has extensive national and provincial coaching experience, previously serving as the Head Coach for the University of British Columbia Okanagan and assistant coach with Canada’s Junior National Team. 
 
Claire Meadows also spent five seasons playing on the Queen’s Women’s Basketball Team during her undergraduate years. While playing as a Gael, she established a legendary reputation as an OUA East First Team All-Star, CIS All-Canadian nominee, and University Award of Merit recipient. She finished her Queen’s career as the women’s team’s second all-time leading scorer.
 
It’s clear Meadows brings a multitude of experience to her role as the Head Coach. With all of this accumulated knowledge, she told The Journal she’s established four main principles for her team: energy, appreciation, accountability, and trust. 
 
“When the season’s done, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about if we lived up to those core values. And if we’ve lived up to those core values, then we will consider our season a success,” Meadows said in a press release.
 
“Obviously, we want to perform well on the court as well, but the core values are things that we can control. That’s where our focus is each and every day.”
 
Coach Meadows and the women’s basketball team hope their team philosophies will once again help them dominate this upcoming season. For their next game, the Gaels will challenge the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks at 6 p.m. on Friday Nov. 11 at the ARC. 
 

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