Queen’s Golden Gaels won their fifth game in a row Saturday night, defeating the Algoma Thunderbirds 67-34 in an Ontario University Athletics women’s basketball game in Sault Ste. Marie.
The victory allowed the No. 9-raniked Gaels, 14-3, to move back into a first-place tie in the East division with the Ryerson Rams. Ryerson won its only weekend game Friday night, 70-58 at Lakehead.
The two front-runners will meet Friday in the penultimate game of the regular schedule at the Queen’s Athletics and Recreation Centre.
Jenny Wright scored 16 points to lead the Gaels, while Marianne Alarie came off the bench to score 14, most of which came from three three-point baskets. Mackenzie Robinson scored 10 points for Algoma, which fell to 1-18.
The Gaels spread it around, with all 10 players who were dressed getting at least 13 minutes of floor time.
Queen’s took a 22-6 lead by the end of the first quarter, then the Gaels managed to score just eight points in the second quarter and they went into halftime with only a nine-point lead. A 24-6 third quarter more or less settled things once and for all.
Algoma was successful on less than 23 per cent of its shots from the field and the Thunderbirds did themselves no favours by committing 21 turnovers, which led to 16 Queen’s points. The Gaels held a 50-29 rebounding advantage, including 34-5 under the defensive glass.
Queen’s men had more difficulty with the long trip, as they dropped a 71-60 decision to Algoma. The Gaels’ second loss in a row left them with a 10-7 record but it didn’t hurt their playoff chances, since they’d already clinched second place in the East division and had no hope of catching Ryerson for first.
The win was just the fifth in 18 games for Algoma.
Queen’s led for most of the first half, but an 11-4 run to close the second quarter sent the Thunderbirds into halftime with a 34-27 lead. Despite a 20-point third quarter, the Gaels could gain no ground—they allowed Algoma to score 22—and the visitors never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
Sukhpreet Singh scored 15 points for Queen’s, while Tanner Graham scored 13 and Jesse Graham added 10 and a team-best seven rebounds. The Gaels shot just 30.9 per cent from the field.
Sean Clendinning, 9-for-13 from the field, led Algoma with 24 points, 10 above his season per-game average. He had a terrific weekend, with a 25-point performance the previous night against York. Andre Barber scored 18 points and gathered eight rebounds for the Thunderbirds.
The Gaels will conclude their regular schedule at home next weekend, with games against Ryerson on Friday night and Toronto on Saturday.