Rebound win

Bounceback victory makes up for big loss

Men’s basketball faced highs and lows last weekend, losing by double digits before pulling out a tight road win.

The Gaels dropped their first contest last Friday to the Laurier Golden Hawks 92-75 and picked up the win over the Waterloo Warriors on Saturday 61-57.

The Gaels had their hands full Friday night, matching up against a Golden Hawks team (3-3) boasting OUA first team All-Star Max Allin. He torched the Gaels defence for a game-high 27 points to go along with 12 rebounds.

Nikola Misljencevic led the Gaels’ scoring charge with 18 points, while Sukhpreet Singh hooped 16 points and snagged 12 rebounds.

Gaels head coach Stephan Barrie wasn’t pleased with the performance, but understood the Gaels’ talent was overmatched.

“They’re a tough team to play in their gym,” Barrie said. “They are very talented offensively and they got going so it was very difficult to stay in that game.”

On Saturday night, the Gaels faced the winless Warriors in what turned out to be a tight game. The Gaels led 28-27 at halftime and ended with the four-point victory.

Barrie took some positives out of the game, although he said the win was a little too close for comfort.

“We struggled a bit on offense, but our rebounding and defensive were quite good,” he said. “We held them to 57 points and outrebounded them by a significant margin, which is what you need when things aren’t falling offensively.”

The Gaels won the battle of the boards in both contests, outrebounding the Golden Hawks 38-37 and wiping the glass clean, grabbing 50 rebounds to the Warriors’ 23.

Last season, the Gaels struggled to rebound and found themselves losing games because of it.

Since the start of training camp, Barrie has emphasized the importance of rebounding to the team’s success, but also realizes the Gaels must improve in other facets of the game to become an elite team.

“Our rebounding has been improving over the past couple weeks and [we] are happy about that, but the reality is it’s not enough,” Barrie said. “Our turnovers are still too high and that is the next area we have to work on.

“If we can get those things combined, then we have our best chances to win.”

With the Gaels fielding a small, guard-heavy lineup that starts the 6’5” Misljencevic at centre, rebounds will only come if the Gaels put in maximum effort.

Meanwhile, turnovers are Queen’s latest issue for the Gaels, as they gave up the ball 17 times in both games.

“We’re a work in progress,” Barrie said. “There’s no question there has been improvement with turnovers and rebounds, but we are not where we need to be yet.”

The Gaels are back in Kingston this weekend after two weekends on the road.

They’ll host the McMaster Marauders (3-3) tonight and the York Lions (4-2) tomorrow, with both games starting at 8 p.m.

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