Men's basketball shocks Brock

Nationally-ranked Badgers upset on Kingston visit

With their 87-81 win over Brock, the Gaels beat a top 10 team in the nation for the first time since 2012.

When it looked like the game was lost for the second night in a row, men’s basketball Head Coach Stephen Barrie called for a time out.

Down 45-31 to the Brock Badgers — the fourth ranked team  in nation — the time out came with 2:23 remaining in the second quarter. 

“It looked like we weren’t giving it our all and weren’t putting a 100 per cent effort — which we weren’t, to be fair,” third-year guard Sukhpreet Singh said. For Singh, who scored 18 points in the victory, the time out was a turning point in the contest.

“[Coach] made us understand that if we want to be good, we cannot let those things happen.”

Barrie spoke to his team about their poor rebounding in the first half. Less than halfway through the game, the team allowed nine offensive rebounds. For the Gaels to be successful, Barrie knew his team would need to change their intensity. 

Barrie’s words worked wonders for the weakened team, as they came back to win 87-81.

From the time out on, Queen’s looked like a different team. They ended the quarter on an 8-2 run, bringing the deficit down to single digits heading into the break. In the second quarter the Gaels were efficient on offence, shooting over 70 per cent compared to Brock’s 42.

Domination would come in the third period, with the Gaels winning the quarter 21-13. They pressured the Badgers, forcing them to shoot only 24 per cent from the field, turning the ball over eight times compared to 

the Gaels five. To pull away from Brock in the fourth quarter, Singh was helped by forwards Patrick Street and Tanner Graham. In 

back-to-back plays, these two Gaels hit consecutive jump shots, putting the Gaels ahead by five — their largest lead of the game — and driving their hometown fans into a frenzy.

Clutch free throw shooting down the stretch would secure the Gaels their biggest win of the season.

Mark Placibar played strong for Queen’s, scoring 10 points and providing six assists in his 31 minutes of action.

On the night, the Gaels were led offensively by Graham, Singh and Street, scoring 51 of the Gaels’ 81 points.

Combined with his 21-point and five-block performance against McMaster, Graham was named the OUA male athlete of the week. 

To Singh, a major part of the team’s early success is due to Graham’s growth during his second year. In his rookie campaign, Graham was known mostly for his three-point ability. With this updated arsenal, he’s quickly becoming one of the most feared players in the OUA. 

“He can really get to the rack and he can guard a whole bunch of different positions,” Singh said. “For him to step up like that for us is huge for the team.”

One of the Gaels’ biggest changes from previous years is their interior defence. Graham has played a major role in this, stifling opponents at the rim. He currently  leads the OUA with 2.2 blocks per game.

Saturday’s victory was the Gaels’ first against a CIS Top 10 team since their 2012 victory against the seventh-ranked Lakehead Thunderwolves.

While this latest win gives them a lot of confidence, Singh knows the season is still young.

“We still have so much to prove,” he said. “It’s great that we won that game, but it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t win these two games this weekend.”

The Gaels head to Waterloo for a pair of matches against the Laurier Golden Hawks on Friday and the Waterloo Warriors on Saturday.

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