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TMU women's basketball player Lauryn Meek puts her arms over her teammates shoulders during a timeout huddle
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TMU women’s basketball falls to Queen’s in OUA semi-final

By Daniella Lopez

The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold women’s basketball team bowed out of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs with a 67-49 loss against the Queen’s Gaels on Feb. 28 in Kingston, Ont. 

With the win, Queen’s secured a spot in the Critelli Cup game against the Carleton Ravens and have now qualified for the U Sports women’s basketball national tournament.

OUA Defensive Player of the Year and sixth-year Gaels forward Julia Chadwick’s presence could be felt on both sides of the floor as she finished with 25 points and 17 rebounds.

The Bold were coming into the game as underdogs after upsetting the Brock Badgers in the OUA quarterfinals on Feb. 24. Queen’s held an 18-4 record throughout the regular season and were the clear favourites after defeating the Guelph Gryphons by 17 in their quarterfinal matchup. 

In the game, both sides traded blows early as Queen’s hit a three-pointer right off the bat and TMU put their first points on the board 90 seconds into the quarter. 

While the quarter remained close, a scoring drought with two minutes left in the frame saw neither side score a field goal. Queens led 16-11 by the end of the first quarter. 

TMU began the second hustling for a comeback. First-year Bold forward Corrynn Parker scored a layup off her own offensive board. Shortly after, first-year TMU forward Hailey Franco-DeRyck scored a basket after grabbing the offensive rebound. 

Fourth-year Bold guard Kaillie Hall made a three-pointer with six minutes left in the quarter to cut the Gaels’ lead to two points, causing the home side to call a timeout. Yet, coming out of the huddle, Queen’s went on a 7-0 run to extend their lead to nine.

Shortly after, first-year TMU guard Catrina Garvey—and OUA Rookie of the Year—cut the lead to four points off a layup and forced a Queen’s timeout once again. However, the quick breather helped the Gaels regroup as they came out more aggressive in the first half’s final minutes to take an eight-point lead into the break. 

TMU women's basketball head coach Carly Clarke high fives player Alex Pino as the team goes to bench during a timeout

In the opening minutes of the second half, it was a battle between Chadwick and Garvey who both carried their respective teams on their backs.

The Gaels reached a 10-point lead off a Chadwick layup, but Garvey scored a basket off a steal by Franco-DeRyck to cut the deficit to eight. Yet, each time TMU looked to go on a run and stage a comeback, the Gaels answered back. 

The game started to crumble for TMU when sixth-year Queen’s guard Laura Donovan hit a triple to bring the score to 47-33. On the following play, an offensive foul was called on Parker, disrupting the chance for TMU to find their rhythm.

When Chadwick was called for her fourth foul with 2:33 left in the third quarter, new life could have been breathed into the Bold. Yet, a hard foul by Parker with a minute left in the quarter saw the Gaels make one of two free throws and receive possession of the ball. Queen’s stayed in control in the remaining seconds to increase their lead to 15 by the end of the quarter. 

In the final frame, Garvey cut the Bold’s deficit to 11 on two separate occasions, but a triple by Chadwick with six minutes left in the game and a layup on the next possession put the game to bed.

TMU’s frustration reached a breaking point when head coach Carly Clarke received a technical foul with three minutes left in the game for arguing with referees, something she’d been doing all game. 

With the Queen’s lead expanded to 18 near the end of the frame, TMU stood no chance at a comeback. 

The Gaels will look to win their first Critelli Cup since 2001 on Saturday against the reigning national champion Ravens.

UP NEXT: The Bold head to the off-season with their young core intact.

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