The Gee-Gees women's basketball team split its final road game weekend of the regular season falling to No. 3 ranked Queen’s Gaels 55-44. After coming back to tie the game in the second quarter, uOttawa stayed within five points of the Gaels, but eventually fell behind in the fourth quarter. Sarah Besselink had a clutch first half finishing with nine points after two quarters, and thirteen points overall with six boards.
“Overall I think we pushed back well. It really was the defensive end of the floor, they looked like they were going to score a bunch of points early but they didn’t because we worked so hard” said Ottawa head coach Andy Sparks.
A mirror start of last night’s game plays out at the Athletics and Recreation Centre as Queen’s takes an early lead. Although the Gee-Gees are rebounding well, their shots were not falling. Queen’s played uOttawa tight on defense keeping uOttawa off the board for over three minutes. Sarah Besselink broke the Gee-Gee dry spell and got the Gee-Gee offense going to help reduce the deficit form nine-points to five-points.
Explaining the Gee-Gees come back Sparks said, “that’s really what happened. Sarah got some more touches and that got us back in the game.”
Gee-Gees continued this momentum into the second quarter as they dominated on offense. Using their speed to their advantage, uOttawa closed the gap to within three-points of Queen’s lead. McAlear-Fanus sunk an underhand hook shot for two-points. The Gee-Gees tied layup the game at twenty-one, and then again at twenty-three points.
uOttawa defense had Queen’s scrambling to produce offensively, with many empty possessions and shot clock violations. The Gee-Gees were executing their defensive system well as they forced Queen’s turnovers, shut out shots from the post, and minimized the effectiveness of their in-and out offensive strategy. Soriano showed her agility with two steals in back to back plays.
Queen’s were hot and cold throughout the game, but came out hot on offense in the fourth quarter. Sparks explains his team’s defensive performance at the end said, “they were tired and you could tell they were tired– but they battled the whole way through.” Gael’s rookie Bridget Mulholland scores back to back three-point shots that stretched their lead out of uOttawa reach. Sparks said, “We gave up fifty-five points to the third rank team in the country. I think we had every opportunity to be in it down the stretch”
Although a tough loss at this point in the season, uOttawa did a fine job at limiting Queen’s to 55 points which is twenty-points lower than their average. They shut out OUA top scorer Veronica Lavergne who scored six-points.
Melina Wishart, Julia Dostaler lead Gee-Gee defense with seven boards each. Queen’s nearly out rebounded uOttawa 44-40.