Queen's Men's Basketball shuts down Ontario Tech Ridgebacks

Gaels remain undefeated with third consecutive win

Gaels' Cole Syllas drives to the net.

The Men's Basketball team defeated the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks 104-73 on Friday night at the ARC.

During the first quarter, defensive rebounds from Cole Syllas and Connor Keefe lead the Gaels to a solid 28-14 lead. In the second quarter, Queen's dominated at the free throw line with consistent shooting from the Syllas siblings, Cole and Luka. They closed the first half up 59-26.

During the second half of the game, Head Coach Stephan Barrie took his leading players off the court and brought out his second team of bench players.

Queen's scored 19 bench points during the third quarter and extended their lead to 47 points. Strong offensive play allowed the Gaels to finish the game at 104-73, walking off the court with their third consecutive win this season.

The Gaels cranked out some impressive statistics during Friday's game, including 57 total bench points and a 94.1 per cent success rate from the free throw line. The team’s successes this season are widespread and well-known; Queen's is now sixth in the OUA East USPORTS ranking.

Cole Syllas was the top scorer for the Gaels on Friday, something he's gotten used to during his basketball career at Queen's. He was named a First Team OUA East Division All-Star last season as Queen's leading scorer and rebounder.

Syllas' reputation has set some high expectations for him this season, but his play suggests the pressure hasn’t gone to his head. He’s back and better than ever.

Another key player is Cameron Bett, a fifth-year guard for the Gaels.

During Friday's game, Bett racked up 22 points and went 6 for 8 on his 3-pointers. When The Journal asked Bett about his impressive scoring performance, he spoke to how his attitude has helped him succeed.

"Confidence is the main thing," said Bett in a post-game interview. "It's 50 per cent reps [and] 50 per cent confidence."

Syllas and Bett established themselves offensively during the first half, but it was Kai Dalen who shined when Coach Barrie gave the bench an opportunity. The second-year forward racked up his first minutes and points as a Gael, with 23 minutes and eight, respectively.

“It felt great because all the work I put towards getting there started to pay off, and it was nice to get some minutes in,” Dalen said in an interview with The Journal.

Although Head Coach Stephan Barrie was impressed with the team's victory against the Ridgebacks, he said the game shone a light on some of the team's weaknesses.

"As much as I think we did a lot of good things, there was a lot of slippage," Barrie said in a post-game interview with The Journal. "There's some things we’ve got to work on."

The Men’s Basketball team is currently undefeated, and their impressive statistics and intimidating record have made one thing clear to their competitors: they aren’t here to mess around.

Despite their victories, Barrie believes winning isn’t the only indicator of success.

"[Success] looks like us coming together to reach the ultimate level that we're capable of reaching at the end of the season and when playoffs start,” he said in a press release.

Barrie has big ambitions for the team, but emphasized he's not focused on the prize and prestige associated with winning, rather achieving success as a team.

"If you get wrapped up in the wins and losses, you lose track of what's important,” Barrie said. “What's important for us is to be the best version of what this team can be at the right time.”

On Sunday, the Gaels defeated the Marauders with a final score of 79-65. Queen’s is now 4-0 and will return to the court on Friday, Nov. 18 to challenge the Carleton Ravens at the ARC.

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