No. 5 Gaels beat Lakehead,will host OUA Critelli Cup Final Four starting Friday

(Photo: Michael Parkinson)
(Photo: Michael Parkinson)

KINGSTON, Ont. (February 25, 2017) - The No.5 Queen's Gaels took down the Lakehead Thunderwolves 81-53 in their OUA quarter-final from the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC) in OUA women's basketball playoff action. With the win, Queen's will now host the OUA Critelli Cup Final Four next weekend.

GAME FLOW
The Gaels got off to the quick start they were hoping for in the opening quarter led by an Emily Hazlett (Fredericton) lay-in untouched to kick things off in Kingston. From there, Queen's opened up a 9-2 lead to start the opening frame.

The Thunderwolves pushed back as the Gaels shooters went cold. To close out the quarter, Lily Gruber-Schulz was the benefactor of a Jerika Baldin pass to the baseline that Shculz snuck-in before the buzzer to tie the game up at 17-17 heading into the second.

August Ricketts hit a jumper to start off the second and the Thunderwolves moved ahead for the first time in the game.  Queen's jumped in front again but were only able to stay ahead of Lakehead by just a few points. Heading into the final minutes before halftime, Marianne Alarie (Sudbury, Ont.) and Veronika Lavergne (Ottawa) went to work to put Queen's in good standing at the break. First, Alarie picked up a pass from Hazlett and drove to the hoop for an easy two. After Hazlett then connected with Lavergne in the post for another bucket, Alarie elected not to run out the clock with 18 seconds left as she spotted a wide-open Lavergne who finished an easy lay-in. When it was all said and done the Gaels went to halftime up 36-26.

In the third quarter the Gaels pushed the pace and were able to maintain a double-digit lead for much of the quarter. When Lakehead was able to get the game to within eight points, rookie Bridget Mulholland (Kingston, Ont.) went to work for Queen's hitting a big three-pointer to put the Gaels back ahead 11. 

Queen's outscored Lakehead 21-12 in the third to take a 19-point lead heading into the final quarter.

From there it was all Gaels in the final frame. Queen's added another nine points to their lead before it was all said and done. Alarie scored nine of her 19 points in the final frame and the Gaels took an 81-53 win over Lakehead. 

FINAL SAY
"This is a huge opportunity and it was one of our goals at the very beginning of the season to host the Final Four. We plan to work even harder this week now to make sure we are ready. Coming into the second half tonight we just said we were going to take care of business. We were dominating on the boards offensively and defensively and we were getting steals. I think that just helped to lead our offence in the second half." - Marianne Alarie.

BY THE NUMBERS
4 - The four teams heading to Kingston for the Critelli Cup Final Four are host Queen's, Windsor, McMaster and Carleton
12 - Points for Gaels rookie Bridget Mulholland
23 - Points off of Lakehead turnovers for Queen's compared to just five points for the Thunderwolves

UP NEXT
The Gaels will be back in action next weekend as they get set to host the OUA Critelli Cup Final Four. The action starts Friday night at 6pm as Queen's will take on the Windsor Lancers in the first semifinal game followed by the Carleton Ravens and the McMaster Marauders in the second semifinal. The winners will face-off Saturday at 8pm for gold while the losers will play for bronze Saturday at 6pm. For tickets to the OUA Final Four at the ARC in Kingston head to www.gogaelsgo.com/tickets.

Source: Queen's Gaels