The men’s basketball team had its two best offensive performances of the season, but still lost twice in Toronto, falling to 0-16.
The Gaels scored a season-high 78 points in Friday’s 82-78 loss to the Toronto Varsity Blues and dropped another close game on Saturday, losing 73-68 to the Ryerson Rams.
Gaels forwards Matt Baker and Nikola Misljencevic and guards Ryan Golden and Mackenzie Simpson all hit double-digit point totals against the Varsity Blues. Simpson led the way with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Misljencevic added 15 points.
Six Gaels scored first-quarter points to lead 20-19 heading into the second quarter. But a 14-3 Toronto scoring run saw the Gaels down by five points at the half.
The Gaels got back into the game with a 23-point fourth quarter, but still came up four points short. Coach Stephan Barrie said his team allowed the Varsity Blues to pick up too many offensive rebounds.
“There were some miscues boxing out,” Barrie said. “But even when we did box out, [Varsity Blues centre Andrew Wasik] would just use his strength to push us under the rim.”
Wasik, 6’7, had a game-high 13 rebounds.
“He’s a fifth-year guy who’s a very powerful player down low,” Barrie said. “He just physically manhandled our bigs.”
On Saturday against the Rams, Misljencevic’s 15-point first half helped the Gaels take a 33-25 lead at the break.
Golden posted all of his 15 points in the second half — but he missed a three-point effort to tie the score in the dying seconds.
Misljencevic ended up with a game-high 21 points while the Gaels shot a season-high 82 per cent from beyond the three-point line.
Despite the losses, Barrie said he was impressed with the teams’ play.
This weekend, the Gaels play a home-and-home against the OUA’s only other winless team, the Royal Military College Paladins. But Barrie said the Gaels can’t be considered favourites.
“RMC, for us, is no different than anybody else in terms of our preparation,” he said. “We don’t have the luxury of taking anybody for granted.”
Friday night’s game will be at RMC and Saturday’s game will be at the ARC. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. for both games.
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