Men’s basketball head coach Stephan Barrie opened his inaugural season with two losses last weekend. The Gaels lost 84-52 to the Lakehead Thunderwolves and 73-56 to the Guelph Gryphons at the ARC.
The pair of losses extends the team’s nine-game losing streak that dates back to their Oct. 7 exhibition loss to the Bishop’s Gaiters.
The Gaels came out strong on Friday night and led 28-27 over Lakehead, the defending OUA champions. But a 12-0 Lakehead run to start the third quarter propelled the visitors to a win.
Co-captain Ryan Golden, who led the Gaels with 12 points, said Queen’s has to maintain its focus to avoid similar collapses in the future.
“When our energy is good and we play as a team, and everyone’s encouraging each other, you can see that translate on the court,” he said.
Barrie called the game “a tale of two halves, for both teams.
“They played well below their level in the first half, and we played pretty solid — especially defensively,” he said. “In the second half, they played very well and we went the other way.”
The Gaels fell behind early against the Gryphons on Saturday, trailing 45-25 at halftime. Rookie guard Ricky Parisien sparked a second-half surge with two three-pointers in the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough.
Barrie said this season will have a steep learning curve.
“You have to go through these kinds of situations to learn the hard way,” he said.
Guard Mackenzie Simpson posted eight points, seven rebounds and four steals against the Gryphons.
“I’ve never been on a losing team before, so I’m taking it kind of hard,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll change that around.”
Simpson transferred to Queen’s from the St. Lawrence College Vikings over the summer.
The Gaels travel to Waterloo to take on the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks tonight and the Waterloo Warriors on Saturday. Simpson said he expects to win if his team prepares properly. The Gaels will be practicing twice a day all week.