New team, new results

Faulkner, rookie guards lead Gaels to first perfect start in past eight seasons

Forward Greg Faulkner scored 18 points last Sunday against Waterloo, including two dunks.
Forward Greg Faulkner scored 18 points last Sunday against Waterloo, including two dunks.
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Rookie guard Sukhpreet Singh put up 19 points in Friday’s 83-80 win.
Rookie guard Sukhpreet Singh put up 19 points in Friday’s 83-80 win.
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The men’s basketball team has already matched their win total from last season.

The Gaels defeated the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks 83-80 in their season opener last Friday, before topping the Waterloo Warriors 83-63 on Sunday. The team is 2-0 for the first time since 2004-05.

With a pair of double-doubles, Carleton transfer student and Kingston native Greg Faulkner scored a combined 44 points and grabbed 24 rebounds in his first regular season games with the Gaels.

Faulkner said he’s looking forward to the rest of the season on a new team.

“We’re a young team, so it’ll be a roller coaster year, and we just have to keep working hard,” he said. “We’re really excited for the challenge.”

The new-look Gaels played their first game of the regular season last Friday against Laurier, in front of a crowd of 450 at the ARC.

“I’ve been coming to Queen’s games since grade nine and I’ve never seen that many people [out], and they’ve never been that loud,” Faulkner said.

The Golden Hawks sprinted to a 40-35 halftime lead and went on an 11-0 run in the third quarter.

Rookie guard Sukhpreet Singh scored 15 points in the second half to cue the come-from-behind win.

Faulkner led the Gaels with 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Singh had 19 points and six assists.

With impressive inaugural regular season performances from Singh and Roshane Roberts, head coach Stephan Barrie said the rookie guards have a lot of confidence in their abilities.

“They’re coming in with a winning attitude, confidence and while not at this level, they’ve been in these situations a lot before,” Barrie said. “Their mindset is set from the past — they expect to win.”

Faulkner once again led the Gaels on the stat sheet in Sunday’s win over Waterloo, with 13 rebounds and 18 points, highlighted by two dunks. Forward Mackenzie Simpson added 14 points, finishing a breakaway with a two-handed slam of his own.

Despite Faulkner’s dominant debut, Barrie said the Gaels’ offense allows anyone to have a standout night.

“As talented as [Greg] is, he has the ability to go off within that system,” Barrie said. “Some nights, teams may do a really good job of locking him down, and that’s why we don’t want to feature one guy — because we’re going to need other guys to win.”

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