Faulkner finishes

Narrow victory keeps streaking Gaels in the hunt for OUA East Division lead

Greg Fauklner made 24 points in the Gaels’ 84-82 win over Laurentian on Saturday.
Greg Fauklner made 24 points in the Gaels’ 84-82 win over Laurentian on Saturday.
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A pair of timely three-pointers from Greg Faulkner helped the men’s basketball team to an 84-82 win Saturday over the Laurentian Voyageurs.

The Kingston native put up a team-leading 24 points to go with a game-high nine rebounds.

“Without question, he’s the team’s best player,” head coach Stephan Barrie said. “He needed to take over the game in some parts, and he did. It’s him living up to his role.”

Despite the end result, Barrie had harsh words for the Gaels’ first 20 minutes of play.

“Overall, in the first half, I felt the whole group — bench and starters — were poor,” he said. “[We were] dodging bullets by playing bad defense and [Laurentian] not penalizing us.”

The Voyageurs started the game hitting one of nine three-point shots, allowing the Gaels to maintain a 35-34 lead at half time. The Voyageurs moved 10 points ahead in the third quarter after hitting five of eight three-pointers.

At that point the Gaels launched an 8-0 run, hitting eight straight free-throws to get back into the game.

“Holding them when they had the 10-point lead and letting us get back into [the game] was really the key stretch for us,” Barrie said. “Making sure we get to the line and finishing at the line — that’s something we need to do if we’re going to win close games.”

In the final four minutes, with the Gaels trailing 77-73, Faulkner made a layup and a pair of deep three-pointers to put the Gaels ahead for good.

Faulkner said he’s able to perform in high pressure situations by keeping a level head.

“The game can get going a little fast, so if I’m calm, I can control things and keep things going,” Faulkner said. “The next possession’s more important than the one before, so it’s important to get your head back and be ready to get the stop.”

Next weekend, the Gaels are visiting the 10th-ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees and Faulkner’s ex-team, the top-ranked Carleton Ravens.

When the 9-3 Gaels met Carleton in the preseason, the Ravens doubled up the Gaels, 98-49.

“It’ll be a good challenge for us, and hopefully we fare a little better than we did last time [against Carleton],” Faulkner said.

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