Basketball, Sports

Slow but promising start for McGill women’s basketball

On Oct. 17, the McGill women’s basketball team (0–1) faced off against the Windsor Lancers (1–1), in a high-energy game that resulted in a 67-54 loss for the Martlets. After the pandemic halted games for over a year, the team was eager to be on the court. With a tipoff by centre Amelie Rochon that almost hit the referee in the face, the horses were out of the gate. 

Early into the first quarter, it was evident that the Martlets’ strength lay in their offence, with defence struggling to prevent the Lancers’ early attempts to score. However, the first points of the game went to McGill, with two free throws by first-year guard Iman Ibrahim

Though they initially had the lead, the Martlets quickly lost it, and remained just behind their opponents throughout the first quarter. In the closing seconds, as coaches, teammates, and spectators began to count down, the Martlets scored two three-pointers in a row—both from Ibrahim. Cheers erupted throughout the gym at her incredible shots.

The second quarter was a period of strife for the McGill team, with a score of 34-17 at the halfway mark. Their vivacity did not diminish until just before halftime, when lost shots and ball fumbles began to dim the team’s spirit. 

Emma-Jane Scotten, a first-year guard, agreed that morale was not at its peak.

“The energy was okay,” Scotten said. “I just think we need to be a little bit more positive on the bench and in the game, just bring in more energy and really play as a team.”

Yet, the end of the quarter saw McGill score 10 points in three minutes, ending the first half only seven points behind, with a score of 37-30. 

After a slow and steady comeback at the end of the second quarter, the team had the opportunity to turn the odds back in their favour. Unfortunately, Windsor’s defence was strong, and McGill stayed at 32 points for half of the third quarter. 

After many successful shots, guard and forward Maddy Colpitts was forced to sit out after an ankle injury that left her unable to play the rest of the game. Before the end of the third quarter, Scotten and guard Jessica Salanon scored a field goal and three-pointer respectively, leaving the score at 53-39 for Windsor.

Martlets defence struggled to contain the Lancers. Scotten said that the team will need to communicate and work cohesively to improve their defensive strategies. 

“I think that’s what hurt us today,” Scotten said. “We haven’t played in a while, but we still find we’re getting beat a lot. We really have to work on our on-ball defence [and] getting in the gaps.” 

In an email to the //Tribune//, new head coach Rikki Bowles pointed out that the team this year is almost all fresh blood with strong potential. 

“Our team is young this season, with 13 of our 14 players in their first or second year of eligibility,”  Bowles wrote. “We are focussed on getting better each day, learning from the Windsor game as we prepare for Ottawa this Saturday.” 

With a final score of 67-54, the game went to the Windsor Lancers. The Martlets, however, ought not to be dismissed too early. With a team of energetic and committed players, the long season ahead holds much promise for McGill.

Moment of the game:

Ibrahim scored two three-point field goals back-to-back after a points dry spell for McGill, bringing back the spirit of the whole crowd.

Stat corner:

With 16 points, Iman Ibrahim dominated the number of points and successful field goals scored by all players.

Quotable:

“We really want to work on helping each other out. We’re all connected when we play, so we have to play together as a team if we want to improve.” — First-year Emma-Jane Scotten

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