Capital punishment at home for Gaels

Men’s basketball team goes 0-2 over weekend at the ARC, losing to Ottawa and Carleton with playoffs on horizon

Gaels’ point guard Baris Ondul begins a layup in the Gaels 72-59 loss to the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees last Friday.
Gaels’ point guard Baris Ondul begins a layup in the Gaels 72-59 loss to the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees last Friday.

The men’s basketball team fell to two nationally ranked teams at home this weekend.

The Gaels dropped to a .500 record after losing 72-59 to the sixth-ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees on Friday night at the ARC. Saturday night, they dropped below .500 with a 108-65 decision to the third-ranked Carleton Ravens. The Gaels trailed 21-12 after the first half and maintained a similar deficit for most of the game. Forward Mitch Leger tallied 22 points in the Gaels loss.

The Gaels looked to Saturday’s game against the Ravens to bring them back above .500. The last time the Gaels faced off against the Ravens on Jan. 22 in Ottawa, they lost 74-58. Carleton opened fast, putting up 26 points in the first quarter, but Queen’s managed to keep things close with 19 points of their own.

The Gaels took a brief lead 38-37 with 3:50 remaining in the second quarter, but it didn’t last. Carleton led 48-40 by the end of the half. Despite a tight first half, the game soon went downhill for the Gaels. Leger was neutralized after he got into foul trouble early in the third. Carleton scored at will for the entire third quarter with Leger and point guard Baris Ondul on the bench. What had been a close game to watch became a shooting drill for the Ravens who expanded their lead to 81-56 by the end of the third. The fourth quarter saw more of the same.

Ondul said the Ravens are deserving of their national ranking.

“[They] never break down physically or mentally. They are consistent one through 12 [players],” he said. “[You’ve] got to be mentally strong for 40 minutes.”

The loss drops the Gaels to 10-11, leaving them in a three-way tie for third in the OUA East with the Ryerson Rams and the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.

Gaels guard Dan Bannister said the Gaels weren’t mentally focused.

“They don’t make mistakes and they capitalize when you make a mistake,” he said. “[We need to] keep our heads when things start to go wrong.”

Leger said he felt responsible for the team’s loss after reaching foul trouble. He had four personal fouls by the end of the game.

“I put 100 per cent of that on my shoulders. I lost my cool and it kind of went downhill from there … we didn’t keep our heads, kind of killed ourselves, didn’t play very good defence. The scoreboard reflects that,” he said. “This just really disappointing, I really disappointed myself, I’m supposed to be a leader and I kind of fucked it up”.

The Gaels have one game left before the playoffs start on Feb. 24.

Leger said seeing the Ravens again is very probable.

“We are probably looking at fourth place: maybe hosting a game. If we win that we’ll get these guys again. We played them tough in Ottawa, we played them tough the first half here, we just played a bad 20 minutes of basketball.”

The Gaels close out their season on Saturday when they host RMC at 8 p.m.

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