Strong second half nearly helps Queens complete rally in Calgary

Paige Schultz (9) hit many shots from the outside in the home win. Photo - Tony Hansen
Paige Schultz (9) hit many shots from the outside in the home win. Photo - Tony Hansen

Brent Forster - RDC

In an afternoon rematch in Calgary, the RDC Queens played another strong game defensively and nearly knocked off the first place SAIT Trojans in back-to-back games. The Queens trailed by six points at the half but outscored the Trojans 24-20 in the latter half and just fell short 43-41.

In a back-and-forth opening quarter, the Trojans took an early lead but the Queens remained strong defensively. RDC was effective in their own paint which forced SAIT to the outside. The Trojans led 12-9 until Sandra Garcia-Bernal sank a pair of free-throws to bring the Queens within a point (12-11).

After Emily White game RDC their first lead (13-12) in the second quarter, the Trojans connected on several shots from the field. When SAIT couldn't solve RDC's defence down low, they tried their luck from behind the three-point arc. At the half, the Trojans connected on 5-of-14 three-pointers (35.7%) and they pulled ahead 23-17. Eva Bonde led the way for RDC with 7 points over two quarters. Alexa Tan had 11 for SAIT. Rebounding remained strong for the Queens and they held an 18-15 advantage.

The RDC Queens were very effective in the second half. They remained persistent and reduced the Trojans' lead to a single point in the third quarter (31-30). During that stretch, Eva Bonde connected for three and Lauren Bailey sank a pair of free-throws. Sandra Garcia-Bernal played with passion on the court and early in the fourth quarter she gave RDC their second lead of the game (32-31). The game came down to the wire and SAIT eventually picked up a 43-41 win.

Eva Bonde was named the player-of-the-game for the Queens in consecutive games and the third-year Kinesiology & Sport Studies student recorded 14 points, 1 assist and 7 rebounds. Alexa Tan received the award for the Trojans and she accumulated 11 points and 5 rebounds.

The Queens elevated their energy and execution in the second half after trailing by 6 after two quarters. "It was a tale of two games today regarding our compete level," said Queens Basketball Head Coach Ken King.

King noted several strong performances in the close game. "Eva Bonde had another good day for us. Emily White played some big minutes and she cleaned up the glass," said King. "Madison Nimmo also played some key minutes for us this afternoon."

Emily White contributed an incredible 17 rebounds, 6 points, 1 block, 1 steal and 1 assist in 40 minutes. Madison Nimmo finished with 3 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 assist in 15 minutes. Lauren Bailey scored 7 points.

The Queens have been consistently strong on the boards and they totaled 39 rebounds. The Trojans had 31.

The fifth place RDC Queens (9-8) will compete against the eighth place Ambrose University Lions (1-16) next weekend in a pair of games. Friday, February 16, the Lions will host the Queens at 6:00 p.m. Twenty-four hours later, the RDC Queens will compete against the Ambrose University Lions on their home court at 6:00 p.m. The RDC Queens had an impressive past four games defeating the tough Medicine Hat College Rattlers in a pair of games and splitting their weekend series with the first place SAIT Trojans. The RDC Queens have gone 7-3 in their past 10 games and are only 2 points back of the final playoff spot in the south with four games remaining.