The Rams women’s basketball team overcame a five-point deficit in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to earn their first win of the season, beating the Queen’s Gaels 68-65 Friday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
With less than three minutes remaining in the game, third-year forward Rachel Farwell shot a jumper coming from a nice pass from third-year guard Tiya Misir, bringing the Gaels lead down to two points.
Misir then stole the ball on the Gaels’ ensuing possession. The ball ended up in fourth-year guard Stefanija Mrvaljevic hands, who then passed it to an open Mikaela Dodig. The fifth-year guard tied up the game at 65 points apiece.
Coming out of their timeout the Gaels drew up a play for fourth-year guard Emma Weltz, who missed her jumper. Mrvaljevic came down with her ninth rebound of the night.
Queens fourth-year forward Julia Chadwick was able to steal the ball back but the Rams were able to force a miss from Gaels fourth-year guard Laura Donovan.
With 44 seconds left in the game Dodig hit another three from a pass from Mrvaljevic, giving the Rams a three-point lead.
“I just knew I was open and shot the three,” said Dodig. “It ended up going in. I honestly wasn’t thinking much.”
Dodig said that sometimes it’s better not to think about the big shots when they happen.
“It was just in the flow of the game. It felt pretty effortless.”
It was the last basket scored for either team, but it wouldn’t come without suspense. On the last possession of the game the ball ended up in Donovan’s hands but the referee ruled her out of bounds, thanks to hounding defence from fourth-year guard Marin Scotten.
Both Scotten and Dodig played the entire game. Dodig said that it felt great because she was having fun on the court contributing to the team.
“Especially having a whole year off, I’ll take playing the whole game any day.”
The game marked the first time the Rams returned to the court for league play after intercollegiate sports were shut down due to COVID-19.
Head coach Carly Clarke said that she trusts Dodig and Scotten as veterans to play big minutes when the team needs it.
She called Dodig “an anchor” in reference to her shot and her defence on the last possession of the game.
Dodig led the team in scoring with 25 points. She made four threes, more than the entire Queen’s team. Farwell contributed 16 points in 27 minutes, and Scotten had 13.
The Rams struggled to stop the Gaels from scoring in the paint, allowing 46 points. Clarke said that Queens ran many different types of plays near the basket which threw the team off.
The Rams started with a smaller lineup, with the six-foot third-year forward Farwell taking the opening tip for the Rams. The smaller lineup helped the team to play in transition, scoring 20 points off of 20 defensive rebounds.
They were also active on the offensive glass, bringing down 16 compared to Queen’s nine.
The teams last faced each other in the 2019-20 OUA quarterfinal, which the Rams won 74-59.
Even though the women’s team got the win Clarke expressed how happy she was to be back playing basketball at the MAC.
“It has been a long time, but at the same time it also feels like we never left. Everything here is still the same. When we’re playing the game, it feels the same. It’s just a great feeling.”
Up Next: The Rams will travel to North Bay to play the Nipissing Lakers on Friday, Nov. 12.
Donald Higney was the Co-Sports Editor & Reporter of On The Record News for the Fall 2021 semester.