OTTAWA, ON – The Queen’s Gaels met the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Sunday evening in a battle between the two top teams in the OUA. The Gaels came in at 14-1 and the Gee-Gees at 15-1, but the Gaels came out on top by a score of 70-58.
The Gee-Gees, playing without Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu, needed to get their other veterans to step up against the Gaels. They got that in former Laurier Golden Hawk Brianna Iannazzo. Iannazzo, playing alongside Natsuki Szczokin, was the primary ball handler for the Gee-Gees throughout the game and provided a lot of the offensive spark to keep the Gee-Gees in pace with Queen’s.
On the defensive end, Oksana Gouchie-Provencher continued to do what she had done all season long, block shots in the paint. She made life difficult for one-on-one drives and provided length that tried to disrupt the multifaceted offence of the Gaels.
Despite the disruption around the rim and the attempts by the guards to force steals and transition looks, the Gaels’ offence flowed throughout the game; much of it came from paint touches and ball movement. Swing passes around the outside until Bridget Mulholland or Julia Chadwick could seal inside, or quick looks at corner threes for Laura Donovan, the Gaels always found a way to get looks as the game went on, and they held onto their lead throughout.
Recording another double-double on the season, Julia Chadwick’s eight points and five rebounds in the first quarter provided an early spark. Emma Weltz continued that spark towards her eventual team-high 19 points, and the Gaels won. Brianna led the game in scoring, putting up 20 points for the Gee-Gees, but the depth of the Gaels with Isabella Belvedere, Laura Donovan and Bridget Mulholland pushed them over the edge and always gave them somewhere they could go when someone got cold.
Queen’s never relinquished the lead, going up 12 points in the first quarter and 23 at the half; they constantly fought off any Gee-Gees attempts at taking the game and advanced to 15-1 on the season with the Gee-Gees 15-2.
Now in the OUA East, the Queen’s Gaels sit on top with the Gee-Gees just behind them and Carleton 14-2. Queen’s rematch against Ottawa is coming next Sunday after they take on the Guelph Gryphons on Friday the 3rd.
The Gee-Gees have the highly anticipated Capital Hoops matchup with the Carleton Ravens on Friday before they take on the Gaels, and the shakeup of the top three teams in the OUA could look much different once next weekend comes and goes.