Basketball burned by big teams

Men ‘just really didn’t show up’ for games against Laurentian and York

For the first time this season, the men’s basketball team dropped two consecutive games, losing 66-56 to Laurentian on Friday and 84-77 to York on Saturday.

The Gaels went into Friday’s game after beaten Laurentian earlier this year by 10 points. Laurentian
came into the game with a 4-13 record. But it was the Gaels who got off to a slow start, finding themselves down by nine points at the half.

“We just really didn’t show up,” forward Cameron Eby said. “We kind of expected to win, and they had a little more desperation than us.” The Gaels found their stride in the second half, leading by as many as five points, but couldn’t secure a victory.

“We didn’t seem to have a lot of energy,” head coach Rob Smart said. “We got down a whole bunch,
came back to go up five or six, but just couldn’t sustain it.” Smart said Laurentian has a deceiving win-loss record. “They’re not a bad team,” he said. “They beat Concordia [currently ranked number three in the country] at the start of the year, and they’ve got some talent.”

Smart added that Laurentian is in danger of missing a playoff spot and simply outworked the Gaels for the win. The following night, the Gaels played York, another team they beat earlier this season.

Once again, the Gaels got off to a slow start and were down seven points at the half. Smart and Eby both said the team had trouble rebounding against York. “We’re not physically as big and strong as many of the teams we play,” Smart said.

The Gaels played a better second half, matching York in scoring, but couldn’t close the seven point deficit. Smart said the Gaels deal with rebounding problems against most of the teams they face and, it isn’t an excuse for the loss. He added that in their recent stretch of games, the Gaels are having trouble maintaining their energy level through an entire game.

“I don’t know what to do about [rebounding], get bigger guys or live with what we’ve got,” he said. “A lot of it is just getting the energy level back.”

With the two losses, the Gaels now hold fifth place in their division, eight points ahead of sixth-place Ryerson. The top six teams from each division advance to the playoffs. But only the winner of the provincial championships will go on to play in the national championships.

“I think that if we were in any other league in the country, we’d be number one or two and have a shot
at going to nationals,” Smart said. For now, the Gaels have a distant shot at third-place Toronto, but will more likely finish in fourth or fifth and play York in the first round, Eby said.

The Gaels play Carleton and Ottawa this weekend at home in Bartlett gym on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

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