Gaels conclude home season with weekend split

Queen’s loses to Laurentian and puts Lakers away on Senior Night

Luka Syllas tries to finish a tough layup through contact.
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The men’s basketball team split a pair of weekend games at home against the Laurentian Voyageurs and the Nipissing Lakers.

On Friday, Feb. 7, the Gaels lost in an 88-74 tilt with the OUA East’s third-ranked Laurentian Voyageurs (15-5).

The Gaels got off to a slow start against the Voyageurs, trailing at 43-39 at halftime. Despite the efforts of Quinton Gray, who led the Gaels with 16 points, including timely three-pointers late in the game, the Gaels were unable to come back from a double-digit deficit the visitors ran up in the third quarter.

On Saturday, the game began with a heartfelt tribute to No. 4, Harry Range, the sole graduating player of the men’s basketball team.

Range, who scored a career high of 28 points in last weekend’s game against the Laurier Golden Hawks, lead the Gaels to victory again versus the Nipissing Lakers, scoring 24 points in his last game on home court.

“Harry, in his senior night game, was tremendous and I would expect nothing else from him. He has had a great career so I thought he was as great tonight as he has been all year,” Head Coach Stephan Barrie said in a post-game interview with The Journal.

At Saturday’s game, the Gaels beat the Lakers 85-60. Queen’s began leading the Lakers in the first quarter at 14-10, but Nipissing caught up in the second quarter, tying the game at 29-29 going into halftime.

“I thought we had a hard time finding our rhythm offensively, especially in the first half,” Barrie said. “Adjusting to a little bit of a new lineup, we at least put it together in the second half. We wore them down as the game went on and they got pretty tired.”

However, the Gaels began the second half strong with a three-pointer early in the frame by Bruno Chan. The Gaels built a substantial lead owing to standout performances by Harry Range, Luka Syllas, and Quinton Gray.

“Defensively, our intensity was good, and over the course of four quarters, you can tell that their main guys started to miss. I think that was the most important factor: our guys playing hard for 40 minutes,” the coach commented.

Queen’s went into the fourth quarter up by only six points, but in the final stanza they outscored Nipissing 25-6 to put the game out of reach, and win their final home game of the 2019/20 season.

Next week, the Gaels will travel to face off against the best and worst teams from the OUA Central conference: the York Lions (2-18) and the Lakehead Thunderwolves (15-5) are Queen’s final regular season opponents.

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