Basketball teams pull out wins against King’s College

Men’s team tramples the Eagles, women’s team ekes out a win in overtime on Saturday in Bartlett Gym

Gaels’ guard Kendra Walker-Roche blows past an Eagles defender during Saturday’s overtime nailbiter win.
Gaels’ guard Kendra Walker-Roche blows past an Eagles defender during Saturday’s overtime nailbiter win.
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Gaels point guard Baris Ondul drives for the basket in Saturday’s demolition of King’s College.
Gaels point guard Baris Ondul drives for the basket in Saturday’s demolition of King’s College.
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Queen’s forward Mitch Leger goes for the bucket during the Gaels 90-33 win over the Eagles.
Queen’s forward Mitch Leger goes for the bucket during the Gaels 90-33 win over the Eagles.
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The men’s basketball team stampeded to a 90-33 victory over Edmonton’s King’s University College Eagles on Saturday night in Bartlett Gym.

The Eagles visited Queen’s on their Kingston tour during which they also played the Royal Military College Paladins and the St. Lawrence College Vikings.

“They’re a pretty small school,” Gaels’ head coach Rob Smart said. “They had trouble dealing with our size. It becomes pretty easy when you can dominate inside.” The Gaels led 52-18 at half time and never looked back.

Six-foot-six Kingston native Mitch Leger led the Gaels with 28 points and 10 rebounds.

Even with the decisive win, Smart said his team still had some work to do.

“We got sloppy near the end,” he said. “I don’t like to see turnovers.” Smart said he’s optimistic about the season ahead.

“We always had trouble with size,” he conceded. “We’re not bad this year if everyone stays healthy.”

Smart’s optimism was guarded, though. He said the Gaels will face stiffer competition than King’s College during the regular season.

“Our problem is we play in the best league in the country.”

The women’s game was closer, with the Gaels pulling out a 59-50 overtime win.

Queen’s started slow, taking five minutes to score their first point.

“We were careless with the ball,” head coach Dave Wilson said. “We had a lot of turnovers at first. That was our biggest issue.”

After trailing 23-20 in the first half, Queen’s came out swinging in the second. A three-pointer from second-year guard Brittany Moore gave the Gaels the lead within a few minutes of play.

The game stayed close even after two Eagles starters fouled out, with the teams trading leads on every possession and eventually going to overtime with the score 50-50.

A strong Gaels defense prevented the Eagles from scoring in overtime.

“It’s our first game,” Wilson said. “It was a good start. I was happy overall.”   Wilson said he was satisfied with the improvement his team showed from last year.

“We rebounded well,” he said. “We’re getting better at getting on the offensive boards.” The statistics support Wilson’s claim, as 21 of the Gaels’ 56 rebounds were retrieved on offense.

Wilson said he was happy with the cohesion shown by his team.

“I thought our composure was very good down the stretch of the game,” he said. “I thought our veterans provided a lot of leadership.”

One of those veterans was third-year post Erin Skippon, who led the Gaels with 21 points and nine rebounds.

The men’s basketball team is back in action this weekend when they host Concordia University on Friday and Laval University on Saturday, while the women’s team will be hosting the high school girls Tricolour Tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

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