The men’s basketball team lost by its biggest margin of the season in front of 250 fans at the ARC on Saturday night.
Queen’s fell to the Carleton Ravens 80-47 on the Gaels’ alumni day following a 93-61 loss to the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Friday night.
Before Saturday’s game, fourth-year forward Bernard Burgesson won the second annual Marco W. Alessio Memorial Award for outstanding academic achievement and athletic excellence.
Alessio, ArtSci ’89, played for the Gaels from 1986 to 1988. He died in a car crash in Madagascar in February 2009.
Actor and former teammate Tom Cavanagh, ArtSci ’87 and BEd ’88, presented the award to Burgesson and addressed the entire team before the game.
When the game tipped off, the Gaels fell behind early to the undefeated Ravens and trailed 18-7 after the first quarter.
The Ravens, who scored 25 points in the third quarter alone, led 68-24 after three quarters.
Guard Michael Farine led a fourth-quarter offensive surge, scoring 12 of his team-high 14 points as the Gaels outscored Carleton 23-12 in the final frame. But they still lost by 33 points.
Mackenzie Simpson’s nine-game double-digit point streak ended after being held to eight points against the Ravens. Simpson and Farine each grabbed six rebounds.
Burgesson said the Gaels did all they could do against the country’s top-ranked team.
“Even at the half when we were down quite a bit, we came back and didn’t give up,” he said. “[We] tried to go for loose balls and just stuck in there till the end.”
On Friday night against the Gee-Gees, Ottawa’s Johnny Berhanemeskel — who scored 31 points against the Gaels on Jan. 21 — scored eight points on the Gee-Gees’ opening three possessions.
Simpson and Matt Baker responded with seven points each in the opening 10 minutes, helping the Gaels to a 23-18 lead after first quarter.
But the Gee-Gees used their pick-and-roll offence to start the second quarter on a 13-2 run and led 48-34 at half.
Berhanemeskel finished the game with 34 points and 11 rebounds as the Gee-Gees won 93-61.
Simpson had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Gaels while Farine chipped in with eight points and four assists.
The Gaels repeatedly huddled in a circle during stoppages this weekend. Simpson said it’s a new strategy for the team to keep its composure.
“It’s just to regroup, and if we have anything to say to each other, we say it then,” he said. “The second our defence slips, our offence slips, so we’ve just got to keep [playing] good defence to stay with [teams].”
Head coach Stephan Barrie, who picked up a technical foul on Friday night after debating a call with the referees, said the team wasn’t good enough against the Gee-Gees.
“[Friday] was entirely problematic on the defensive side of the ball,” he said. “If they need to play badly in order to get wake-up calls, then it’s not going to be the team we want to have here.”
Next weekend the Gaels play the York Lions and Laurentian Voyageurs in their last games of the regular season — wins in both games will ensure they overtake the Lions for the sixth and final playoff spot in the OUA East.
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