Women's basketball: Queen's cashes in on "perfect miss"

What happened in Queen's 53-52 women's basketball win over Carleton? Andrew Bucholtz was there covering the game in his capacity as one of the sports editors for The Queen's Journal, so he gets the honour of explaining the strangest ending in Canadian university basketball this season.

Who knows, maybe the basketball gods thought Carleton and Ottawa should go into the Capital Hoops Classic next week with matching 10-5 records.

here. Here's my take on the night's events.

It was a bizarre end to an unusual night. Fresh on the heels of a 71-50 blowout loss to the Ottawa Gee-Gees where Queen's coach Dave Wilson described his squad’s play as "brain-dead,," the Gaels came back and beat Carleton. Even stranger than the turnaround was the manner in which it was accomplished, though.

Queen's held a six-point lead at halftime, but the Ravens bounced 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 pull within one, though, and the Gaels then fouled Carleton’s star guard Tanya Perry. Perry made one of two, giving Carleton a two-point lead with less than 15 seconds left.

On the next play, the Gaels went to OUAscoring leader Brittany Moore despite tight coverage, and she forced up a three-point shot that came nowhere near the basket. Carleton was called for a questionable foul, sending Moore to the line for three shots with six seconds on the clock.

Carleton was out of timeouts, so coach Taffe Charles pulled his team over to the bench while Moore was shooting. Wilson reciprocated. Moore missed the first shot but made the second, giving her a chance to tie the game with her third.

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.

Charles took the blame for the mistake after the game in an interview with myself, Mike Koreen of the Kingston Whig-Standard and Michael Grobe of Queen's Athletics. “It was totally my mistake,” he said. “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.’ … I just totally blanked out and no one was there to rebound.”

Moore, who had a game-high 21 points, said she was amazed.

"That was a ridiculous ending," she said. "I'm shocked."
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