With playoff positioning on the line, the Gee-Gees women’s basketball team did battle with the Queen’s Gaels in an exhilarating matchup at Montpetit Hall on Friday night. After an up and down affair, the Gaels took home a 63-50 win.
A strong first quarter effort established the competitive environment of the game, the Gee-Gees held a 13-12 lead following the opening frame. An eight-point start to the game for Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus paced the Ottawa attack, as her aggression on the offensive end was focused on scoring rather than facilitating.
In the second quarter, the Gaels found their tempo on offence, out scoring the Gee-Gees by a margin of 20-12 before the half. Queen’s held a 32-25 lead going into the locker rooms.
The third quarter brought back the competitive pace of the first frame, with the teams grinding on both ends of the floor, establishing a playoff-type environment. The paint presence of Angela Ribarich helped the Gee-Gees stay in the game, as the Gaels were only able to add one-point to their lead over the quarter.
A valiant fight in the early goings of the fourth quarter was not enough to overcome the timely shooting of the Gaels.
McAlear-Fanus led the way for the Gee-Gees with 17 points, three rebounds, and two assists. Ribarich turned in a 16-point and seven-rebound performance in the loss.
“Our problem today was our defence, we worked on it all week and we just didn’t execute,” said McAlear-Fanus. “I think we’re finding what we’re good at. Although today didn’t show it, I think we’re starting to click and that’s important going into the playoffs.”
Gee-Gees head coach Andy Sparks echoes his point guard’s sentiments, highlighting the lack of defense as a key issue in the loss. He also noted that for what is typically a balanced scoring team, it was a disappointing night.
“We have to defend and we just didn’t do that tonight,” said Sparks. “They were also changing their defences and we have young players that weren’t ready to make the adjustments. The first half was really indicative of the game and we were inconsistent on both ends.”
The Gee-Gees will wrap up their regular season with a game against the York Lions on Saturday night. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. and will be streaming live on OUA.tv.