Men's basketball defend home court against Waterloo Warriors

Top two takeaways from 78-59 victory

Point-guard Sammy Ayisi drives past the Laurier defender on Friday night.
Point-guard Sammy Ayisi drives past the Laurier defender on Friday night.

Saturday afternoon, Queen’s fans packed the home stands in the ARC to watch the Gaels take on the Warriors on their home court. Below are The Journal’s two takeaways from the game. 

Trio of Singh, Ibrahim and Graham lead the Gaels

For the last four years, Sukhpreet Singh has been a leader for Queen’s — Saturday was no different. In the first quarter he got his team off to an early 25-13 lead, quickly scoring seven points on two three-pointers and a made free throw. Throughout the remainder of the game, Singh picked up an additional five points, putting his career total at 1,126 — good for fourth in Gaels history. 

While Singh led the Gaels in the first quarter, it was local power forward Tanner Graham that took over in the second frame. 

Graham scored eight points in the second quarter, and closed out the half with a one handed put-back dunk, much to the crowd’s delight. On the night, Graham was the only player to register a double-double, with 16 points and 16 rebounds.

Isse Ibrahim, a transfer from Canadore College, has had a strong start to his career at Queen’s. Playing as a shooting guard, Ibrahim has shot an efficient 56 per cent from the field, with Saturday being no different. He scored 12 points throughout the game, and worked well with Graham and Singh to create scoring opportunities throughout the game. 

The Warriors’ defense was no match against the dynamic gameplay between Singh, Graham and Ibrahim. The three were consistent forces throughout the game and refused to let up until the final whistle blew. 

Gaels’ defense kept the Warriors away — for the most part

The Warriors had a markedly difficult time in the Gaels’ end throughout the game, with the exception of a fleeting comeback attempt in the third quarter. The Warriors’ shooting was unimpressive throughout the game, shooting under 50 per cent on free throws and going 1-18 from the three-point line.

While the Warriors were far behind the Gaels for the majority of the game, they had a short-lived comeback attempt in the third quarter. The Gaels had managed to maintain a strong double-digit lead throughout the first half of the game, which the Warriors contested in the third quarter. 

After the halftime break, the Warriors came out with intensity, going on a quick 10-2 run to start the third quarter, cutting the gap between the teams to just nine points.

With the game getting closer, Queen’s defense brought the pressure. In the second half, Queen’s recorded two steals. Twin brothers Jesse and Tanner Graham, and Ross Vrana-Godwin registering a collective five blocks in the second half. By stopping the Warriors at the rim, the Gaels consistently eliminated scoring opportunities. 

Although they had a strong run in the third quarter, on the whole Queen’s had a strong defensive effort. In the second half, Waterloo shot 29 per cent from the field, giving Queen’s a lot of opportunities to extend their lead. This poor shooting by Waterloo resulted in a strong 78-59 finish for the Gaels.Queen’s will head to Thunder Bay for their lone game of the weekend, playing against the Lakehead Thunderwolveson Friday.    

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