By: Emma Kelly (Photo: Robin Kasem / Queen's Gaels)
Kingston, Ontario - The Carleton Ravens fell to the Queens Gaels 71-65 ending their perfect record in the regular season. Winning the battle of undefeated teams, the Gaels are now tied with uOttawa for first in the OUA's Eastern Conference.
Gaels put up a front early with their impressive teamwork in the offensive end. Ravens guard, Dorcas Buisa (Gatineau, Que.) opened the Ravens scoring in the first with a layup. The Ravens battled hard against the accurate shooting Gaels; Laura Donovan (London, Ont.) was 3-for-4 in 3-pointers in the first helping the Gaels build a 22-18 lead after the first.
The Gaels started the second with the momentum they gained from the strong first quarter. Kyana Jade Poulin (Brossard, Que.) displayed her skill by controlling the pace for the Ravens and set up key offensive opportunities. Poulin and Florence Fortin (Sainte-Marie, Que.) both put up six points for the team as they continued to push back. The Gaels were persistent on their coverage of Ravens scoring leader, Kali Pocrnic (Oakville, Ont.) but she still managed to go two-for-two in free throws to close off the half with the Ravens trailing 42-36.
The Ravens began to show why they dominate the court in the OUA as Poulin started the half being a threat defensively forcing key turnovers. Zerina Duvnjak (Kitchener, Ont.) put on an impressive performance leading the team in the third with 6 points. She sealed off the quarter with a swish from beyond the arc allowing the Ravens to close the gap to 53-50.
The team showed grit in the fourth in an effort to close the gap, but the Gaels continued to be persistent in possession. Pocrnic broke through putting up 7 points and drew a key foul that would get the Ravens their first lead of the game 64-63 with 2 mins to spare. Gaels quickly responded to the Ravens comeback by putting up another 8 points closing the game 71-65.
The Ravens play back-to-back next weekend at the Ravens' Nest facing Windsor for 'That '70s Night' before welcoming Western on Saturday.
From Coach Sinclair
“Through spurts, I thought we did a good job and that’s where we were able to take the lead late and kind of find our way, but we did not do it consistently enough.”
“We have to be better in the week in practice to prepare for the moment.”
“When the game was close and the game was in the balance we didn’t execute and that comes with doing a better job Monday through Thursday in your preparation. Focus goes back to getting in the gym and getting better.”
On Kali Pocrnic’s 16-point performance:
“She does a lot for us every night and she did that for us again. I think we need a little bit more from more people because there is a lot of pressure on her to do a lot and she gets a lot of attention from the other team and gets banged up and still is able to make plays and we need other people to step up more often.”
“Florence [Fortin] and Poulin were really good for us offensively tonight. We had Zerina come off the bench and made a couple big shots. We just have to play a little more fearless in the offensive end and that will take the load off of Kali a bit.”