Blues forward Sarah Bennett defends the paint. MIHAELA DARADUR/THE VARSITY

The Varsity Blues women’s basketball team have now lost three games in a row following their 74–66 loss to the Queen’s Gaels on Saturday night.

The Gaels’ offense jumped out to a 19–9 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Toronto gained momentum and managed to outscore Queen’s 25–24, slowly cutting the deficit to a 43–34 lead at halftime.

The Blues improved in the second half, outscoring the Gaels 32–31. Unfortunately the first quarter deficit proved to be costly, as Toronto could not catch up to the Gaels despite outscoring them 57–55 after the first quarter.

“Offensively we really picked it up in the second half with sharing the ball. We got a lot of good looks, but the problem I think with that is it happens too late in the game,” said Blues guard Keyira Parkes. “Defensively we have to be in transition and just really bear down and focus from the jump. We can’t let them get a run on us.”

Parkes led the Blues with 19 points on an efficient 8-14 shooting, along with five rebounds and two assists. The next highest Blues scorer was Diedre Edwards with 12 points.

Gael Marianne Alarie ended the night with a game high of 20 points scored, leading the way for Queen’s. Her eight points in the first quarter helped the Gaels jump to the commanding lead that would later be too much for the Blues to come back from. Sophie de Goede contributed with 15 points off the bench, including nine free throws.

The Blues are now 5-11 on the season, while the Gaels improve to an impressive 13-3 record.

When asked about the next game, Parkes said, “We have to come in the game focused… [and] executing game plans, because that’s been a challenge for us. We tend to forget in the first two minutes of the game what the game plan is and what we’re supposed to be doing.”

“We can’t lose any more games. We really have to play together and find that defensive [relentlessness],” she continued.

U of T’s next game is against the undefeated Carleton Ravens at Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport on Friday, January 26.

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