Winless in Ottawa

Defence falters in pair of losses to the nation’s best

Despite two losses over the weekend, the Gaels hold a three-game lead over the Toronto Varsity Blues for the final playoff spot in the OUA East.
Despite two losses over the weekend, the Gaels hold a three-game lead over the Toronto Varsity Blues for the final playoff spot in the OUA East.

On the toughest road trip possible in CIS play, the Gaels dropped two decisions.

In Ottawa last Friday, the Gaels lost 104-65 to the top-ranked team in the country, the Carleton Ravens, and were on the losing end again Saturday night as the nationally second-ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees topped them 100-79.

The results from the road trip don’t come as a surprise, as the Ravens and Gee-Gees have established themselves as perennial top programs in CIS hoops.

Undefeated Carleton proved their powerhouse status to the Gaels Friday night at the Ravens’ Nest. The Nest was rocking, with over 600 Ravens fans showing up to give Carleton the home court advantage.

The Gaels’ defence had trouble containing the Ravens all night, especially the nation’s best player, Phil Scrubb, who torched Queen’s for 23 points. The Ravens couldn’t seem to miss, shooting an off-the-charts 60 per cent from beyond the three-point arc.

Forward Patrick Street led the Gaels’ scoring charge with 14 points, while guard Greg Faulkner added 11 in the loss.

Gaels head coach Steph Barrie had only positive things to say about the performance of his squad versus the Ravens.

“Winning on the road in our league is tough,” Barrie said. “Our players don’t react too high or too low to the results, so they’re ready to play these teams we’ve lost to again.

“This was the toughest road trip you could possibly put together,” Barrie added. “We knew going in it was going to be a challenge and it certainly lived up to that.”

The Gaels gave up triple digits once again as they lost to the Gee-Gees the next night. There seemed to be a lid on the hoop as the Gaels hit only five of 26 three point attempts.

Gee-Gees forward Terry Thomas had a career-high 42 points. Guards Sukhpreet Singh and Roshane Roberts led the Gaels with 17 and 16 points, respectively.

Barrie knew going in that the Gee-Gees were hungry for a win after they suffered a loss to the Ravens earlier in the week.

“The fact that Ottawa had lost to Carleton early in the week made them want to get their act together,” Barrie said. “It was tough enough playing a number one team, but almost even tougher playing a number two looking to get themselves back on track.”

Forward Nikola Misljencevic refused to dwell on the weekend’s results and is already looking forward to next weekend’s games at the ARC.

“We can’t get down on ourselves after this weekend,” Misljencevic said. “After being on the road the [past] two weekends, we’re excited to have a home stint, which should boost our confidence.”

Currently, the Gaels are on a four-game slide, but sit just one game back of the York Lions for fifth in the OUA East.

Although times are tough for the Gaels, Misljencevic said the team has to stay focused on their goal of making the playoffs.

“We show the ability to play great at time, but we can go the other way as well,” he said. “We have to remain together and fight to improve in order to succeed down the stretch.”

The Gaels will look for some revenge this weekend at the ARC as they play host to the Algoma Thunderbirds (4-12) and the Laurentian Voyageurs (10-6), both of whom they lost to earlier this month.

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