RDC Queens second-year guard Harneet Sidhu drives to the basket as Briercrest College Clippers Tayler Janz plays defence. The Clippers picked up a 76-72 win Friday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

RDC Queens drop tight game to Briercrest College Clippers

Clippers 76 Queens 72

The RDC Queens put up a valiant effort against the sixth-ranked team in the country.

Trailing the Briercrest College Clippers at the half and by 13 in the fourth quarter, the Queens stormed back and tied the game at 69 with under two minutes to play.

A few costly turnovers early in the game and again down the stretch were the ultimate undoing of the home side in a 76-72 loss to the Clippers Friday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

“I think our turnovers and mistakes early in the first half really cost us the game,” said Queens coach Mandy Botham.

“On the flip side, I was really impressed with when it counted most– we had so many hustle plays with girls hitting the floor and everyone on our bench was engaged, so you can’t ask for much more as a coach.”

RDC allowed the Clippers to hit seven three-pointers in the first half, but were able to lock them down in the second, allowing only two, which was key to them climbing back into the game.

That defence tenacity allowed the Queens to shutdown Briercrest late in the game despite the loss, outscoring them 22-13 in the fourth quarter.

“It’s something we’ve been talking about all summer long through their workouts and when we started practicing,” Botham said.

“Just a lot of focus on toughness and not giving up and rebounding in practice. They’ve all really bought in and they push each other which is nice.”

Angenay Williams was the one weapon the Queens didn’t really have an answer for most of the night. The Clippers guard went off for a game-high 36 points, hitting 10 of 27 from the field and 12 of 15 free throws.

The only time RDC was able to limit Williams was with third-year guard Mallory Uskiw, who was the Queens player of the game with six points, six rebounds and three steals.

“I liked everything about her game. She was taking her opportunities offensively which was nice to see,” said Botham.

“I thought she did a phenomenal job on (23) defending her. Her rebounds and the big play at the end of the fourth where she dove for that ball was exceptional. That’s what we’ve been focusing on. Gotta reward that.”

Second-year guard Harneet Sidhu led the Queens with 21 points and was seven-of-16 from the field. She added five rebounds and two steals. Lauren Cardinal also had a big night, pouring in 17 points and adding nine rebounds, on five-of-six shooting from the field.

The Queens shot 33 per cent in the loss, only 20 per cent from three-point range and were 88 per cent at the free throw line.

RDC dropped to 4-3 with the loss and host the Clippers again Saturday at 1 p.m.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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