Brent Forster - RDC
Red Deer, AB - The Red Deer College Queens received contributions from the entire lineup Friday evening against the SAIT Trojans. The Queens won all four quarters, including the battle on the boards, and they eventually sealed a 67-46 home victory.
With a dominant rebounding performance (17-7) and effective free-throw shooting (seven-for-eight), the RDC Queens captured a 19-14 lead by the end the first quarter. The Queens had many contributors, but Stockholm's Sophie Melin led the charge with five points. Lauren Bailey, a former Queen, had four points for SAIT.
RDC expanded its lead to 12 points in the second quarter (32-20). St. Albert's Lauren Cardinal totaled eight points, including a pair of three-pointers, two rebounds and one assist over 20 minutes, which sparked the Queens. Kendal Russell led the visitors with six points, including two successful free-throws.
"We felt out of sorts in the first half to me," says Queens Head Coach Mandy Botham. "We just couldn't get the right combination of players on the court to be working together at the right time, but I'm really proud that we persevered and kept pushing and got that win."
By the half, the RDC Queens had connected on 29.4 per cent of their shots from the field. The SAIT Trojans responded with 21.6.
The Trojans had a good start to the third quarter, reducing the 12 point deficit to six (31-37). SAIT's Lauren Bailey found herself at the free-throw line several times, and over three quarters she sank six-of-eight. The Queens responded in the latter stages of the frame and were assisted by a pair of late buckets from Fort St. John's Britney Peters. RDC bumped its lead to 14 points (51-37).
The Queens began the final quarter with energy. A three from Valentina Rincon and bucket from Mallory Uskiw propelled the Queens ahead 62-41. Each team scored five points the remainder of the way and the RDC Queens finalized a 67-46 win.
Mallory Uskiw (7)
Botham picked up her first regular season win as Queens Head Coach.
"It feels really good," she says. "It was a great team win and everyone contributed valuable things to our win, so it's hard to top that."
Botham appreciated the 40 minute effort, including several aspects of competition.
"I thought our effort was pretty consistent which is something I've been preaching since August. Rebounding is a big thing for us," she says. "We had 60 rebounds as a team, which is fantastic. Our free-throw percentage was 80 per cent as a team. Those are things we have been keying on since August, so it is always nice as a coach to see those things come to fruition."
Botham appreciated the range of contributions and the supportive team atmosphere.
"We are pretty even and deep. I always like to push in practice that you have to compete and earn your minutes every day," she says. "I was really pleased to see my starters off in the fourth quarter and being excited cheering for their teammates from the bench. From a culture standpoint as a coach, that makes me really proud."
Sandra Garcia-Bernal was selected as the Collegiate Sports Medicine Queens Player-of-the-Game, contributing nine points, 13 rebounds, three steals and one assist. Richina Foggo was chosen for the Trojans, totaling six points, 13 rebounds, four steals and one assist.
"Sandra played a great game. She's a real driving force for us at both ends of the floor. She plays a significant amount of minutes and doesn't seem to tire out," says Botham. "She led the game with 13 rebounds, which for a five-foot-five point guard is pretty impressive and she kept the defensive pressure on."
The Trojans had 45 rebounds.
RDC shot 34.8 per cent from the field. SAIT was 22.5 per cent successful.
On Friday, November 1, the Red Deer College Queens (1-1) will play the St. Mary's University Lightning (3-0) in Calgary at 6:00 p.m. On the same evening, the SAIT Trojans (0-2) will host the Ambrose University Lions (0-2).