Queen's Brittany Moore made the ultimate uncontested layup — or as she called it, the "perfect miss."
Carleton coach Taffe Charles said that he lost count and didn't realize Moore, with Queen's down by a point, was taking her last of three free throws with 6.1 seconds left on Saturday and Carleton up by one. Moore missed, and with no Ravens on the court, put in the short rebound for a 53-52 Gaels win.
"It was totally my mistake. We didn't have any timeouts left so I thought I'd get a timeout in without actually have a timeout. I lost count of how many shots were being taken. When I realized the third shot was being taken, I was like 'oh we are in trouble.' "In other words, Moore went one better than tying the game. She ended up making a three-point play in reverse, making the free throw with her second shot before making the basket. Suffice to say, no one has seen anything like that in a while — not Andrew, who there for The Queen's Journal or Kinger and Bill Miklas, who were calling it for CFRC,
— Charles, via Queen's sports information
(Over to Andrew.). Tough to try to explain what happened, but I'll give it a shot. Queen's led by six at the half, but the Ravens fought back and took a three-point lead with 28 seconds left when guard Kelly Killoran drained an open trey off a brilliantly designed play.
A hush fell across a close-to-packed Bartlett Gym. Queen's Kendra Walker-Roche hit a quick jumper to cut the lead to one and the Gaels fouled Carleton's star guard Tanya Perry. Perry made 1-of-2, giving Carleton a two-point lead with less than 15 seconds left.
The Gaels got the ball to OUA scoring leader Brittany Moore despite tight coverage, and she forced up a three-point shot that came nowhere near the basket. Carleton was whistled for a pretty controversial foul -- there was a general feeling that it was a foul on the floor, not on the shot -- sending Moore to the line for three shots with six seconds on the clock.
Carleton was out of timeouts, so Charles pulled his team over to the bench while Moore was shooting and Queen's coach Dave Wilson reciprocated. Moore missed the first shot but made the second, giving her a chance to tie it with the final shot.
This is where it gets weird. The Ravens were still clustered around Charles and the Gaels around Wilson, but the referee passed the ball to Moore anyway. Assistant coach Tim Orpin shouted at Moore to miss and Wilson yelled at his players to stay close to the bench to avoid a lane violation. The Ravens realized something was amiss and started to hurry back. Moore missed the shot, grabbed the rebound with no other player within at least 15 feet and quickly made a layup, giving Queen's a one-point lead. Carleton raced down the court and tried a last-second shot, but it caught nothing but air.
On the whole, though, the strangeness of the ending fit right in with the oddities of the night as a whole. Keep in mind this came one day after a 71-50 blowout loss to the Ottawa Gee-Gees after which Queen’s Wilson described his squad’s play as “brain dead."
Usually, you don't see a team turn around right after an abysmal performance like that to knock off the top squad in their division, but the Gaels did just that despite scoring only a season-low 53 points.
The game as a whole was a defensive struggle, especially early on. It was 7-7 after the first quarter, which is the lowest-scoring quarter I've ever seen at the CIS level, and it was 24-18 Queen's at halftime. There were plenty of turnovers and shot clock violations, and almost every possession went down to the final ticks of the clock.
Overall, it was a fantastic game to watch despite the absence of offence. It was almost more of a chess match than a basketball game, with both Wilson and Charles trying a wide variety of different offensive looks to try and break through. Perhaps overall it shows that the gap between the top teams and the rest isn’t that dramatic in women’s basketball.
It's certainly still there in men's basketball: Carleton blew out Queen's 100-75 in the late game to improve their record against the Gaels to 20-0 in the Dave Smart era. Mitch Leger's absence didn't help, but I don't think Queen's would have been that close even with him in the lineup. At least the fans at Bartlett got one good game out of the night.
(Back to Sager.) Carleton's loss overshadowed a solid night for rookie Ashleigh Cleary (18 points, 12 rebounds). Moore ended up with 21 on the night.
The Ravens' five losses have been by a combined 17 points, so they just need to learn to finish games. The upshot from a media perspective is that the Ravens and Ottawa Gee-Gees are dead even at 10-5 entering the Capital Hoops Classic next Wednesday (6 p.m., The Score/SSN Canada). Maybe it was part of some grand design.
Andrew has cross-posted over at cisblog.ca. Brittany Moore and Alaina Porter, the two Queen's starters from the Hammer or whereabouts, got some attention from the Hamilton Spectator over the weekend (which did refer to the team as the Queen's University basketball Gaels -- Cecilia Carter-Smith, you would be on notice if it wasn't passe to tell people they were on notice).
No doubt Porter will have to hear a few "wing-woman" jokes for the next week. That is the price of fame.
- Right, the men's game: Save for a 27-point defensive quarter (the second), Carleton breezed through to an 100-75 win over Queen's in the Kingston's trio's final game at Barlett Gymnasium.
Stu Turnbull had 23 points, Aaron Doornekamp had 21 and Rob Saunders had 11 for "the Duke of CIS basketball," to quote Bill Miklas of CFRC. That takes care of the Kingstonians; Cole Hobin also had 13 in 19 minutes off the bench. File that away for Wednesday, which promises to be a lulu.
Gee-Gees: The word from uOttawa sports information is that forward David Labentowicz and Josh Wright, who sat out this weekend's wins over Queen's and RMC, each had sore backs. They're expected to be ready for Wednesday vs. the Ravens.
- There's a bit of a backburner phenomenon happening with hockey. Each of Carleton and Ottawa's teams are assured of a playoff berth. The Queen's women aren't even the trendy underdog in the OUA, since Guelph has usurped them.
Queen's still has faint playoff hopes. They play Carleton on Wednesday (7 p.m., with Kinger on the call at cfrc.ca; you'll have to watch the Capital Hoops Classic with the sound turned down on the TV).