KINGSTON, ON – The Queen’s Gaels and Carleton Ravens each entered Friday with an undefeated 4-0 record, sitting tied for the top of the OUA East with the Ottawa Gee-Gees. In their first matchup since the 2021 season, the Gaels and Ravens were set to go at it to decide who would remain undefeated. In the end, the Gaels used their physicality and execution to hold on for a 71-65 lead and improve to 5-0.
Julia Chadwick finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds. Her imprint was all over the first quarter around the rim, while Laura Donovan extended to the perimeter, making three in the first quarter. The Gaels assisted on five of nine made baskets showing their ball movement early with passes around the perimeter, leading them to their 22-18 lead going into the second quarter.
Queen’s held onto the lead for most of the game, but Carleton always found a way to respond, whether inside the paint or condensing the defence for a kick-out three. Kyana-Jade Poulin made a pair of triples in the second quarter to help Carleton keep pace with the Gaels, and Chadwick continued to make her presence felt with six points and four rebounds in the quarter. Even with the Gaels out-rebounding the Ravens 12-6 in the quarter, both teams defence held the opposing offence from going on a large run and the Gaels held a 42-36 lead going into halftime.
Carleton came out in the third quarter with added defensive intensity and flipped the rebounding advantage back in their favour while holding the Gaels to 18 per cent shooting from the field. Getting six points from Zerina Duvnjak, the Ravens found scoring from all down the roster throughout the game, and those points contributed to 14 Ravens points in the third. The Gaels lead was down to 53-50 in the final frame.
A back-and-forth game continued in the fourth. The Gaels extended their lead to as much as 10 in the second half, but the Ravens high powered offence always found a way to push back and keep the game within five points. When Isabella Belvedere opened the fourth with a three, Florence Fortin and Jacqueline Urban quickly responded for the Ravens to push the game to 56-55 Gaels with 8:44 remaining. Like they showed in the third quarter, the Ravens rebounding continued to step up and give them second chance opportunities. They always found an answer for whatever Queen’s threw at them, whether a Belvedere three or points from Bridget Mulholland or Laura Donovan. A seven-point run from the Gaels to make it 71-64 with 35 seconds remaining, capped off by an and-one layup from Donovan, pushed them out to their game-clinching score and the battle of the undefeated teams ended.
Two teams that will surely see each other down the road put on a great show for the fans in Kingston, and both the Ravens and Gaels proved themselves as a top team in the OUA this year with their play throughout the early part of this season.
The Gaels now travel to Oshawa for a game against the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks, while the Ravens have a week until their home game against the Windsor Lancers.