Basketball teams lose to U.S. schools

Rookies shine for Gaels, but veterans sub-par against squads from Toledo and Villanova

Teddi Firmi surveys the court during Saturday’s game against the Ryerson Rams. The Gaels won 70-46.
Teddi Firmi surveys the court during Saturday’s game against the Ryerson Rams. The Gaels won 70-46.

The Golden Gaels’ basketball teams had rude awakenings this past weekend as a pair of NCAA teams gave them a lot to think about.

At Carleton University, the men’s team was soundly defeated 73-43 by the Villanova Wildcats of the Big East Conference. The Wildcats raced to a 23-2 lead and never looked back, leading 41-16 at halftime.

“The difference is the speed and the strength. They’re extremely strong athletically at every position,” said Duncan Cowan, the Gaels’ assistant coach.

Despite the superior play of the faster and stronger Wildcats, the game was decided by the Gaels’ lacklustre shooting in the first half. Queen’s only made five of its first 33 shots, and shot 25 percent for the game.

“We depend on shooting the ball well. If we’d shot the ball well we would have remained somewhat competitive,” Cowan said.

The highlight of the game for Queen’s was the excellent play of its first-year players Jon Ogden, Tim Boyle, Nick DiDonato and Travis Mitchell. All four contributed significantly, and Ogden led all scorers with 21 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Guard Corey Stokes added 17 for Villanova.

“The ball seemed to just fall in for me in the second half. I was just shooting, and it was going in,” Ogden said.

The strong rookie performers made up for a sub-par performance from the team’s veterans.

“Our veteran players didn’t play with intensity or confidence,” Cowan said. “They need to be a little more accountable. It was important as any game we had this season.”

To the younger Gaels, the game was more than just a tune-up for the upcoming season.

“Every time you have a chance to play against Villanova, you’re pretty happy about that, but [we’re] not happy with the result,” Ogden said.

“I felt really bad about the game. We had just a horrible start, and we were really disappointed.”

Ogden is optimistic that the team can get past the loss.

“We’re trying to figure things out, but it’s just one game.”

The women’s team suffered a similar fate against the visiting Toledo Rockets, who built a 43-27 halftime lead before defeating the Gaels 81-57. Gael guard Jess Selinger led all scorers with 19 points while Tamesha Scotten scored 17 for Toledo.

Queen’s coach Dave Wilson said he has mixed feelings about the game.

“To some extent, it was a little disappointing: there were some good spurts and some disappointing spurts.”

The Gaels made a run in the third quarter but couldn’t gain enough ground to tie it up.

The game gave Wilson an opportunity to test out the Gaels’ new defence, he said.

“Our execution on offence has to improve, [and] our ball-handling and ball-moving skills. It’s a new defence no one has played before, but with a little time, I’m confident that will be effective.”

The women next play at home against Ste. Foy Oct. 13. The men’s next game is against Algoma College Sept. 22. Both games are at Bartlett Gym.

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