Men’s basketball wins home opener

Women lose 55-53 to Brock Badgers on Friday, 75-70 to Guelph Gryphons Saturday

Gaels’ forward Mitch Leger shoots against Guelph Saturday.
Gaels’ forward Mitch Leger shoots against Guelph Saturday.

The men’s basketball team opened their season with a bang Friday night, defeating the Brock Badgers 72-66 in front of a packed house at Bartlett Gym. Things went downhill on Saturday though, as they lost 67-62 to the Guelph Gryphons.

Head coach Rob Smart said he was happy with the weekend’s performances.

“I would have liked to win two, we had a chance to win two, but we played pretty well,” he said.

The Gaels’ younger players made am impact in both games. Second-year forward Mitch Leger led the Gaels with 33 points and 17 rebounds over the two games, while rookie forward Jon Ogden added 30 points and 21 rebounds. Fellow rookie Tim Boyle put up 13 points and seven rebounds on the weekend.

Smart said the team will get stronger as the season goes on and the rookies adjust to OUA competition.

“We’ve got a whole bunch of first-year kids,” he said. “I don’t know that it’s much more than just them getting comfortable playing at this level. When they get comfortable, we’ll be very good.”

Smart said his rookies have stepped up even more than he expected.

“They’ve shocked me so far,” he said, adding that this year’s recruiting class is the strongest he has seen in his time at Queen’s.

“I don’t even think there’s been another class close to this one,” he said.

The team goes on the road this weekend to play the Western Mustangs and the Windsor Lancers.

Smart said both matches will be difficult.

“Western’s a very good team,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll have a big crowd. It’s a tough place to win. Windsor’s really tough. They’re number two in the country, and they’ve blown everyone out.”

The women’s team had a difficult weekend, losing 55-53 in overtime to Brock on Friday and falling 75-70 to Guelph Saturday. Head coach Dave Wilson said the weekend’s performances were extremely disappointing.

“It was a terrible weekend,” he said. “It was one of those we’d really like to forget.”

Wilson said the loss to the Badgers was one of the worst games he’d seen in his 27 years coaching at Queen’s.

“It was one of the most disheartening performances in a very long time,” he said. “I can’t even compare how poorly we played to any other game.” Wilson said the team didn’t even deserve to take the Badgers to overtime after committing 39 turnovers, the most he’d ever seen in a game.

“To still be in the game was kind of ridiculous,” he said.

Wilson said the team needs to improve both sides of its game.

“Offensively, we’re struggling,” he said. “We haven’t had the flow in the offence we’re looking for. Defensively, we’re playing well in spurts. We need to get consistency in our defence. When we get that, we’ll be tough.”

Co-captain Sarah Barnes said the weekend was rough for the team, but there were positive spots.

“We were generally disappointed and frustrated,” she said. “We’re excited at the same time because we can tell we’re almost there. Some of the systems we’re running, everyone has to be on the same page, and if one person’s off, the whole system goes down. We’re close, and we had a really good week of practices, so we’re excited to get back and prove that we’re better than we showed on the weekend.”

The team plays the Western Mustangs and the Windsor Lancers on the road this weekend.

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