Gaels pick up wins against Quebec sides

Men’s basketball topple Concordia Stingers and Laval Rouge et Or to improve to 3-0 in the pre-season

Gaels’ guard Tim Boyle drives at the basket against the Rouge et Or during Queen’s 89-87 win.
Gaels’ guard Tim Boyle drives at the basket against the Rouge et Or during Queen’s 89-87 win.
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Forward Kurtis Lawes takes a foul shot against Laval on Saturday night at Bartlett Gym.
Forward Kurtis Lawes takes a foul shot against Laval on Saturday night at Bartlett Gym.
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The men’s basketball team notched two home wins this weekend over the Concordia Stingers and the Laval Rouge et Or, improving their pre-season record to a perfect 3-0.

On Friday, the Gaels overwhelmed the Stingers 73-57, led by forward Mitch Leger’s 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Concordia outscored Queen’s 21-9 in the third quarter after trailing 39-14 at halftime. The Stingers continued to claw at the Gaels’ lead, narrowing the gap to 10 points in the fourth quarter.

“We lost our discipline,” Gaels head coach Rob Smart said. “Guys started doing their own thing.”

Leger, who got into foul trouble late in the game, said the Gaels underestimated the Stingers in the second half

“They got fired up in the locker room [at half time],” he said. “We let it get pretty close.” On Saturday night the Gaels hosted the Laval Rouge et Or. On the back of a collective 63-point effort from Leger and guards Dan Bannister and Ryan Hairsine, Queen’s eventually topped Laval 89-87 in overtime.

The Gaels came out of the first quarter trailing by three, but made gains throughout the second. A last-second layup from second-year forward Jordan Kirchberger tied it up 32-32 going into halftime.

Early in the second half, the Gaels pulled away to a 45-37 lead, but it didn’t last as the two teams traded leads until a Laval three-pointer tied the game with 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter, forcing overtime.

Leger and Kirchberger faced foul trouble, prompting Smart to play second-year forward Kurtis Lawes.

“We weren’t expecting a whole bunch of minutes from him, but our big guys have gotten in foul trouble,” said coach Smart. “[He’s] really pretty tough.”

Hairsine, who finished with 23 points, said the team dynamic changes when the forwards are on the bench.

“We become very small on the floor,” he said. “So rebounding becomes a little bit more of a chore.”

Smart said his team’s performance showed shades of glory and misery.

“We had some real good minutes and we had some pretty bad minutes,” he said. “We’re still getting in some foul trouble and it’s really hurting us.”

With the season approaching, Smart said facing the physical teams from Quebec helped his team.

“We played two pretty physically tough teams this weekend,” he said. “[We’ll have to] keep getting better because I know they will.”

The men’s basketball team next plays on Oct. 23 when the Université du Québec à Montréal Citadens travel to Kingston.

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