Brent Forster - RDC
While some teams would be intimidated to face the fourth ranked women's basketball team in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), the RDC Queens showed that they cannot only compete against the top teams but they can defeat them.
Friday at home, the Queens hit the court with energy and they took an early lead against the first place SAIT Trojans. Eva Bonde had the hot hand in the first quarter for RDC. The Kinesiology & Sport Studies student went 3-for-4 from behind the three-point arc and led the Queens with 9 points. The RDC Queens played well in their own end which set the tone for the entire game. At the end of the quarter, the Queens found themselves up 20-13.
Madison Nimmo started the second quarter off on the right foot for RDC. The second-year guard from Red Deer connected on a free-throw and one from the field to push the Queens up by 10 points. It was a back-and-forth quarter. Each team scored 10 points and at the half the RDC Queens maintained their 7 point lead (30-23). Over two quarters, Nimmo accumulated 6 points, 2 assists and 3 rebounds. Alicia Tan contributed 13 points for the Trojans. Once again, the Queens were strong on the boards and stacked up 20 rebounds by the half. The Trojans had 16.
In the third quarter, the Queens impressively shut down the Trojans' offence altogether. RDC added 9 more points while SAIT couldn't connect. Eva Bonde hit a few shots from the field and Sandra Garcia-Bernal capped off the quarter with a shot from the baseline. After three quarters, the Queens were up 39-23.
The Queens started the fourth quarter with a few long distance strikes. Lauren Bailey and Sandra Garcia-Bernal sank a pair of three-pointers to help the Queens take a 45-23 lead. RDC continued to build on their lead. The Queens earned a convincing 51-30 victory and handed the Trojans only their second loss of the season with a dominating defensive performance.
Eva Bonde was named the player-of-the-game for RDC. The student-athlete from Skanderborg, Denmark, totaled 13 points, 1 steal and 7 rebounds. Alicia Tan received the honour for SAIT and she finished with 13 points and 2 rebounds.
Queens Basketball Head Coach Ken King appreciated Bonde's effort. "Eva is one of those players who is always consistent. We know that she won't turn the ball over much and she can score like she did tonight," said King. "She shot the ball very well and she was aggressive. The biggest contribution was her rebounding. When she's hitting the glass, she is a solid, athletic player and when she takes care of the boards she really helps the team."
The Trojans entered the game averaging 67 points per game but the strong Queens' defence kept SAIT's offence in check with another gritty effort. "I thought that we did a really good job. We executed the way that we wanted," said King. "We took care of the defensive end again which is awesome. When we had some lulls we didn't panic and we just kept doing our thing. It was a good team win with some balanced scoring." Maya Parker and Madison Nimmo accumulated 8 points each. Sandra Garcia-Bernal picked up 7 and Mary Krause had 6.
During the Queens' streak of 7 wins in their past 8 games, they have consistently brought a high level of energy especially to their half of the court. "Our offence may stall out for a minute or two but it's nice to know that we'll get the next stop by relying on the defensive end. We're doing a really good job of maintaining that composure," said King. "Our defensive effort begins and ends with energy and that compete factor. We have great starters in terms of those components."
As a team, the RDC Queens stacked up 49 rebounds. The SAIT Trojans finished with 34. The Queens shot 42.6% from the field and 53.8% from behind the three-point arc. The Trojans connected on 17.5% of their field goals and 12.5% of their three-point attempts.
Saturday, the first place SAIT Trojans (13-2) will host the fifth place RDC Queens (9-7) at 1:00 p.m. The RDC Queens are one of the hottest teams in the league and they trail the fourth place St. Mary's University Lightning (10-6) by only 2 points.