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SPORTS ROUNDUP: Gaels advance to OUA Final 4 in women's basketball

[Gaels celebrate overtime win]
The Queen's Gales celebrate after defetaing the Laurier Golden Hawks 85-78 on Saturday in Waterloo. (Photo by Kha Vo)

Never count out the Queen’s Gaels women’s basketball team during the playoffs.

Trailing by as much as 14 points early in the game, the Gaels fought back to upset the No. 6 Laurier Golden Hawks in double overtime 85-78 in OUA playoff action at the Athletic Complex Gym in Waterloo on Saturday.

With the win the Gaels advance to the OUA Final Four in Windsor where they will face the Ryerson Rams in the semifinals. The Windsor Lancers will square off with the Lakehead Thunderwolves in the other match.

Saturday’s game was a see-saw battle with both teams using all the weapons in their arsenal.

“It was a bit of a game of runs for a stretch and then it just became a back-and-forth affair,” said Gaels coach Dave Wilson after the victory. “There were things that we were trying to do to keep them off-balance and changed things up and played four different defences at one point or another in the game. After that we had a lot of options offensively and it was just trying to find the right combination of offence to run to combat their defence.”

Queen’s saw a strong performance from a large contingent of Gaels in the marathon match. Jenny Wright led the Gaels offence with 24 points while adding six rebounds and Robyn Pearson finished with a double-double scoring 12 and matching that with 12 rebounds. Three other Gaels were able to reach 10 or more points while Emily Hazlett scored nine but nabbed five rebounds, four assists and four steals while going 7-for-10 from the charity stripe.

With the game knotted at 67-67 in the dying seconds of regulation Laurier had a chance to win on the final shot but missed sending the game to overtime.

However, that’s where the Gaels have thrived in recent years.

“Our team loves overtime,” said coach Wilson. “Our kids have never lost in overtime, so they were very confident heading in and almost even more heading into the second overtime, it was a very calm feeling on our bench.”

After the first overtime period ended with the teams still tied Laurier seemed to run out of gas and the Gaels were able to hang on for the 85-78 win.