This Friday, the men’s basketball team (10-9) played their only game of the weekend against the York Lions (6-13), landing a comfortable 111-71 victory at home.
The Gaels started strong against the Lions, setting the tempo early and leading 24-16 by the end of the opening frame. Forward Tanner Graham and guard Jaz Bains hit some critical shots in quarter, with the two combining for half of their team’s 24 points.
— Queen’s Gaels (@queensgaels) February 2, 2019
In the second, Queen’s continued their success. They led 50-33 by half and shot 44 per cent from the field in comparison to York’s 26 per cent. Head Coach Steph Barrie credited the Gaels’ smooth path to victory to his team’s collective effort in the first half, especially on defense.
“Most guys shared in that responsibility. There was a good five man unit on the floor, and I thought they defended well and maintained a good rhythm on offense,” Barrie said.
In the first half, the Gaels had a stretch of possessions that allowed them to establish control of the game, especially in the second quarter, allowing them to slowly build their lead over the Lions 50-33 by the end of the frame.
Queen’s played well defensively and despite the Lions’ efforts, kept an advantage in the third and fourth quarters, outscoring York 61-38 cumulatively in both frames. The team also had a surprise performance from first-year Swann Fargeau-Faucon, who played 19 minutes and displayed his athleticism with a career-high 15 points in the game.
According to Barrie, the Gaels had been working on defense all week, and it showed on Friday.
“If we are going to defend well, it gives us a chance to transition,” he said. “[A]nd when we do that, we are pretty good on offence. I thought the team defended very well tonight.” Beyond strong defensive play, the Gaels’ 111 total points was their highest output on the year, as was their 57 per cent shooting average.
Third-year forward Harry Range commented on the team’s performance in comparison to their previous weekend’s loss to Laurentian.
“We had an emphasis this week on bouncing back from last weekend. We’re trying to solidify our spot in playoffs, so this was a big game for us,” Range said. “We didn’t want to let up. We’re trying to make a statement.”
According to Range, the Gaels are continuing to work on consistency in practice, as well as honing in on little details that’ll prove important come playoff time.
“It’s a battle for consistency,” Range said. “If we can have a solid two to three quarters, we will be a really tough team to play [in the postseason].”
The team will have to put their practice into action next weekend. They’re slated to play two of the province’s best teams this coming Friday and Saturday.
Next weekend, the Gaels will face the UOttawa Gee-Gees (13-6) and Carleton Ravens (18-1). UOttawa is nationally-ranked sixth, while Carleton is ranked second in the country. Queen’s, with four games left in the regular season, is currently ranked fifth in the OUA East.
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