Another season has come to a close – but we pushed almost as far as it could go, with our first trip to the CIS National Tournament since 2003. Entering as the 6th seed, we faced the 3rd seed, Saskatchewan Huskies. Despite a stellar defensive effort, we ended up on the short end of a 52-61 score. Our next match up was with Alberta, a team that won Canada West with a 20-2 record and ranked #3 in Canada most of the year. In a game of dramatic runs, we fell 55-67, ending our season.
Queen’s 52 – Saskatchewan 61
Going into this game our focus was on stopping Saskatchewan’s 6-3 All-Canadian and Canada West Player of the Year, who averaged 19.2 points per game this season. There is no question we accomplished that goal, with Robyn Pearson, Nicole Morse and Andrea Priamo sharing the primary responsibility to shut her down. Holding her scoreless from the floor and surrendering a couple of trips to the foul line, she managed only 2 points in her 36 minutes of play. In a fast-paced first quarter we managed 15 points on 15 shots, while Sask grabbed 18 points on their 10 shots. The second quarter, however, had much improved shooting with 16 points on 14 shots, while holding Sask to 10 points on their 16 shots. We led 31-28 at the half. However, foul trouble was starting to creep in. The third quarter was low scoring (12-9), giving us a 43-37 advantage going into the fourth. A combination of our poor shooting and fouls proved to be the difference in the fourth as Sask went to the line 14 times, picking up 11 points, while we managed only 1 of 3 from the charity stripe in the fourth. Down 6 with less than a minute to go, we were forced to foul, leading to the 52-61 final. Liz Boag finished with 18 points, while Jenny Wright added 12.
Box score: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wbkb/2014/boxscores_champ/20140314_h5e4.xml
Queen’s 55 – Alberta 67
We came out of the gates firing in this game, connecting on 47% of our shots from the field and 57% from behind the arc (mostly on the performance of Liz Boag) to lead 20-9 after the first quarter. Liz was 4-4 from beyond the arc, registering 12 points in the quarter. The second quarter was not as kind, however, as we shot only 3 for 16 (scoring only 9 points) to Alberta’s 24 point outpouring, which included 12 points from the foul line in the quarter. Foul trouble became a big concern as we struggled both with the speed of their guards, but more so with the size of their posts. We trailed 29-33 at the half. Our struggles continued in the third connecting on only 5 of 21 shots to score 10 points to Alberta’s 20, leaving us trailing 39-53 at the end of the third. We continued to battle hard, however, but couldn’t break the 8 point barrier, eventually leading to the 12 point loss, 55-67. With Alberta’s size, they outscored us 34-14 in the paint, although we did capitalize on their 19 turnovers, generating 21 points. Liz Boag had a stellar game scoring 27 points, including 6-10 from the 3pt. line, but was our only player to hit double digits.
Box score: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wbkb/2014/boxscores_champ/20140315_u9oj.xml
And so we finish the season 7th in the country with an overall record of 26-13. We had an outstanding home record of 17-2 including our two playoff home wins. We finished first in the East for the first time in over 30 years, captured the OUA East Championship (first since 2003) and made our third trip to the CIS Nationals.
At the CIS National Championship Banquet, Gemma Bullard was named the Canadian Tracy McLeod winner, for unwavering commitment and perseverance in the face of adversity. Liz Boag had the second highest point output in a game at the championships (27 points) and averaged 22.5 points per game over the two games.
Liz Boag, Jenny Wright and Gemma Bullard have been selected (courtesy of being all-stars) to the OUA East/West All-star game in London on May 3rd. I have the honour of coaching the East team.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all the family and fan support we have had throughout the entire season and the playoffs. Our team must have been the best fed team in the country thanks to all the generous support. I am still working through the more than 350 emails I have received from our supporters over the last 12 days – it has been amazing and greatly appreciated.
Next week is the university’s Athletic Banquet. I will be back in touch afterwards to announce our team and university awards (if any) that happen to come our way.
Have a great week --- and thank you for following our program.