Baris’s buzzer-beater bests Brock at Bartlett

The men’s basketball team dropped Friday night’s game to the Guelph Gryphons, but recovered with a thriller against Brock on Saturday

Guard Baris Ondul, pictured in Queen’s Oct. 3 game against the Laval Rouge-et-Or at Bartlett Gym, hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer for the win against the Brock Badgers Saturday.
Guard Baris Ondul, pictured in Queen’s Oct. 3 game against the Laval Rouge-et-Or at Bartlett Gym, hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer for the win against the Brock Badgers Saturday.

Last weekend, the men’s basketball team closed out their 2009 schedule with two games against the Guelph Gryphons and the Brock Badgers.

Mitch Leger’s 20 points and 11 rebounds weren’t enough to give the Gaels the win on Friday night as they sunk 83-57 to the Gryphons.

The game stayed close throughout most of the first half, with the Gaels coming to within two points of the Gryphons during the second quarter before falling to 40-31 at halftime.

With Leger scoring only six of his points in the second half, the Gryphons remained largely unchallenged en route to a 64-42 lead at the end of the third quarter and an 83-57 victory.

Head coach Rob Smart said the Gaels need to rethink their approach.

“We’ve been a very bad basketball team in the last two games,” he said. “And we weren’t a very good basketball team up until then.”

He said his team was pushed around by a physically dominant opponent.

“We played them before and we knew they play very physically. We just didn’t defend and I don’t know why we can’t defend.”

He said the team has to go back to the drawing board, but their future strategy.

“We don’t know [what we should be practicing over the holiday break] because it’s almost as if what we had been working on was working until the last few games and all of a sudden it’s gone to pieces.”

On Saturday night, the Gaels hosted the Brock Badgers, beating them in a 60-59 thriller.

At the outset, the Gaels seemed unstoppable, amassing an 18-0 lead before a fast-break dunk from Badgers guard Clinton Springer-Williams put Brock on the board with a little over a minute remaining in the first quarter. The Badgers carried their momentum into the second quarter, outscoring the Gaels en route to a 31-19 Queen’s halftime lead.

“We had some lapses in defence [against Guelph], but we came out strong and held them to zero for almost the entire quarter ... so that was great for defence,” Gaels guard Jordan Kirchberger said.

In the third quarter the Badgers matched the Gaels in scoring finishing the frame with a 44-32 Queen’s lead. In the fourth quarter the Badgers caught fire, narrowing the Gaels’ lead to five in fewer than two minutes of play.

With 4:15 left on the clock, a three-pointer from Badgers guard Didi Mukendi tied up the game at 46-46. The Gaels tried to regain the edge, pulling away by as much as five points, but could only hold off the Badgers for so long, surrendering their lead with 40 seconds remaining.

With 25.7 seconds left, Leger was fouled by a Brock guard, sending him to the line. He missed his first but hit his second foul shot, giving Queen’s the 57-56 edge. The ball then found its way to Brock’s Anto Raic, who effectively killed the clock before breaking down the Gaels’ defence with a three-pointer, giving the Badgers a 59-57 lead with 2.2 seconds remaining.

After a deflected Gaels inbound wasted precious milliseconds, 6’4” guard James Asefa was inserted to get the ball into play. It found its way to point guard Baris Ondul, who shot home a long-range three-pointer as time expired, inciting fans in attendance to rush the court.

Ondul said their strategy paid off.

“We drew a new play in the timeouts,” he said. “It was a two-point game [so] they knew we were going to go to Mitch, so we tried a second option ... and it worked out.” The buzzer-beating shot capped a 17-point effort from Ondul who also contributed four assists. Leger recorded his second double-double of the weekend with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Ondul said the key to a successful season lies in repeating performance like this one.

“We came out with a lot more energy and we decided to play,” he said. “We have to be more consistent in that, and today we decided to show up and play ... and it worked out.” This weekend’s games make the Gaels 3-5 on the season. The Gaels play at Royal Military College on Jan. 5 before returning to the PEC for their final games in Bartlett Gym on the weekend of Jan. 8.

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