Women’s Basketball News

The fourth-seeded Laval Rouge et Or won the 2024 U SPORTS Bronze Medal with a dominant 76-62 victory over the #6 Queen’s Gaels Sunday evening at Saville Centre. 

Schedule & Results 

It is the best national finish for the program since their silver medal in the 2019. The Rouge et Or finish the 2023-2024 campaign with an overall record of 20-1, their only loss being yesterday’s semifinal against the Saskatchewan Huskies.

They were led by the guard duo of first team U SPORTS All-Canadian Léa-Sophie Verret who finished with a game-high 25 points, and Frédérique Beaudry-Blais who had 16 of her own. The Rouge et Or shot a phenomenal 47.3% from the field and held the Queen’s offence to just a 34.9% mark of their own in what was a dominant two-way victory.

“We shot the ball well today, like we did all year, so that helped us a lot. Defensively we were missing two starters, so I was really impressed with our bench giving us really good minutes,” said Laval head coach Guillaume Giroux. “As a young team, we need this kind of experience. We aim to come back and win a medal of a different colour next year.”

For Queens, this is the third-straight season finishing in the U SPORTS top four coming off the heels of a silver last year, and a bronze two years prior.

Fellow first team U SPORTS All-Canadian Julia Chadwick finished her impressive tournament with another good game for Queen’s, recording a team-high 18 points and eight rebounds and playing well defensively to keep the Gaels in a game that threatened to get away from them at multiple points.

The first quarter was defined by runs, as the Gaels took early control of the contest with an 11-2 run that featured seven points from Chadwick. However, the Rouge et Or would come storming back with an 11-0 run of their own, paced by an impressive depth scoring effort that saw four starters get on the board with at least a bucket. When the dust settled, Laval exited the opening frame with an 18-17 lead, with Verret contributing a team-high seven points for the Rouge et Or. Chadwick paced all scorers with nine in the quarter.

Laval continued to put pressure on the Gaels in second, opening with 12 unanswered as again the depth effort overwhelmed the Queen’s defence. Five different scorers contributed to the run as the Rouge et Or looked for an early knockout punch. And while the Gaels would grab a couple of field goals, the second was all Laval as they entered the half up 41-24.

Verret led all scoring at the break with 15 points, a line that included three makes from deep and a two-for-two mark from the stripe. The Gaels saw a team-high 11 from Chadwick but were unable to get anybody else going as the Rouge et Or held them to just a 31% mark from the field in the opening half.

Queen’s were able to exorcise some first half demons in the opening minutes of the third, going on an 8-2 run that included forcing four Laval turnovers within the first five minutes of play. The guard duo of Bella Gaudet and Haley Barbieri were huge for the Gaels in the frame, scoring five apiece and providing some tightened perimeter defence. However, Frédérique Beaudry-Blais and the Rouge et Or would storm back in the closing minutes to tie the quarter margin at 18-18 and head into the closing quarter with a 59-42 lead.

The Gaels came out swinging with everything they had in the final frame, with Chadwick dominating in the post early to take Queen’s to within just a nine-point deficit with four minutes remaining. That was as close as they would get however, as Verret and the Rouge et Or would maintain a lead the rest of the way enroute to the Bronze Medal.


Players of the Game

Laval: #4 Léa-Sophie Verret

Queen’s: #23 Bridget Mulholland