KINGSTON, Ont. (from Queen’s Gaels) — Extending their win streak to three, the No. 9 Queen’s Gaels (14-3) took down the Laurentian Voyageurs (3-13) on home court 82-48 Friday night during a special #BellLetsTalk game.
With Bell Let’s Talk Day around the corner, the Queen’s Gaels hosted a #BellLetsTalk game day in support of mental health awareness. The stands in the ARC gym were swimming with fans and other Gaels varsity teams sporting blue Bell Let’s Talk toques to show their support for the initiative. The game also featured more toque giveaways and peer health groups from the student wellness services who provided information about mental health resources available on campus.
A slow start saw both sides exchange possession until Marianne Alarie (Sudbury, Ont.) drove in for a layup to open the scoring. The Gaels’ great defence forced a Laurentian turnover with a 5-second violation that proved lethal when Sarah Saftich(Markham, Ont.) knocked down a baseline three-pointer coming down the court. Queen’s continued to drive into the paint with back-to-back layups from Emma Ritcey (Orillia, Ont.) and Maddie Morris (Seeley’s Bay, Ont.). Recording her 55th steal of the season, Abby Dixon (North Vancouver, B.C.) snatched a Laurentian ball for a quick counter that eventually brought Myriam Fontaine (Cornwall, Ont.) to the line. Up by seven points by the end of the first frame, the Gaels held the visiting Voyageurs to just eleven points with an 18-11 score.
Switching to a zone defence, the Voyageurs attempted to shut down the Gaels offence. Their attempts proved difficult however when Andrea Priamo (Guelph, Ont.) picked up a strong offensive board to get the Gaels on the scoreboard in the second quarter. Five straight points from the Voyageurs Emily Tinnes closed the Gaels 10-point lead to eight at 29-20. Ritcey was quick to respond with a three to push the gap. Pushing forward on offence, Morris notched back-to-back threes from a baseline sweet spot. Veronika Lavergne (Ottawa, Ont.) put up a two in the closing seconds of the half for a 39-28 lead. Giving up a single turnover, the Gaels forced seven Laurentian turnovers during the second quarter.
Much like the first half, the Tricolour was first to record a score at the beginning of the third when Priamo knocked down a jumper. Hitting a pair of buckets, Alarie padded the Gaels lead. Rolling offensively, Lavergne and Ritcey added back-to-back scores for a Queen’s 12-2 run, forcing a Voyageurs timeout. With momentum on their side, Sophie de Goede(Victoria, B.C.) put up two consecutively layups for a 24-point lead. With Laurentian’s leading scorer L’Ashante Henry out injured midway through the third, the Gaels continued to break through the Voyageurs defence. Extending their lead from 11 points at the half to 26 points in the third, the Gaels headed into the final frame up 68-34 and held Laurentian to just six points.
Closing out the fourth quarter strong, the Queen’s Gaels recorded 14 more points for an 82-48 victory to move to 14-3 on the season.
By the numbers
6 – Steals from OUA leader Abby Dixon
17 – Points for Marianna Alarie
12 – Rebounds from Sophie de Goede
16 – Total steals from the Gaels
The Gaels host the Nipissing Lakers (2-13) tomorrow night at 6 pm EST on home court for their annual Shoot for the Cure game.
Members of the team and Gaels community will also be participating in a “Cuts for Cancer” donation during halftime of each the women’s and men’s game.