The Blues women’s basketball team took on the Queen’s Golden Gaels Friday night at U of T’s sports gym, losing by 18 points. The women were looking to avenge a loss earlier in the week to Western, but came out flat and let a second game slip away.
After looking impressive in the first half, the Blues tailed off with some poor and uninspired play. Queen’s started to take the game to U of T with about 10 minutes left in the first half. The Golden Gaels effectively moved the ball around and created numerous opportunities, giving the Blues’ defence all it could handle. Queen’s was shooting 50 per cent from the field by halftime and took a commanding 41-29 lead.
The second half saw the same lethargic play from the Blues. U of T looked sloppy, gave up numerous turnovers and committed many cheap fouls. The Blues’ uninspired effort resulted in a 67-49 loss.
U of T had trouble containing Queen’s forward Jen Bittner, who victimized the Blues for a game high 21 points. Leading the way for the Blues was guard Julia Gaffield, who chipped in with 11 points.
When asked about her team’s performance, coach Michele Belanger was perplexed.
“[We] looked terrible, and seemed to play uninspired basketball after a great week of practice,” said Belanger. Turning things around she said would “not be easy and will take the complete efforts of the coaching staff and the players.”
The Blues men’s basketball game showed a completely different result. U of T came out of the gate with an enthused effort versus a tough opponent from Queen’s.
Being winless up to this point brought about an obvious change in the team’s strategy and will. U of T worked hard and played unselfishly, and were rewarded with their first win of the season.
The Blues were close to perfect in the execution of their set offensive plays. They were tenacious on rebounding, both on the offensive and defensive ends of the court. At the half, the Blues saw themselves in a dogfight with Queen’s, with the score tied 30-30.
In the second half, the Blues picked up right where they left off. They got a great game from senior post player Matt Sturgeon, who provided the team with a game high 22 points and four rebounds. They also got some much needed energy and offence off the bench from guard Dayo Baiyewu.
Blues head coach Mike Dodig said he was impressed with his team’s performance.
“The senior leadership stepped up for the team, and we played to their (Queen’s) tempo,” he said. He credited the Blues’ foul shooting, which went 18 of 21 from the free throw line. Dodig hopes this is the game that turns around the men’s season.
Emotions were on opposite sides of the spectrum after the games. The women’s team looked extremely dejected, while the men were upbeat and positive after winning their first game of the year. Both teams travel up to Ottawa next weekend to take on two very tough teams: Carlton University and the University of Ottawa.