Both Men’s and Women’s Basketball welcomed the Laurentian Voyageurs as they opened their seasons at home last weekend.
When the Women’s game tipped off Nov. 3 at 6 p.m., it didn’t go exactly as the Gaels imagined.
Heavily motivated by the Voyageurs’ relentless defensive pressure throughout the first quarter, the Gaels were forced to lean on the work of Emma Weltz, Nurs ’24, to keep them in the game early on.
The score was 13-11 for the Voyageurs by the end of the first quarter.
The start of the second quarter saw the Gaels find their offensive rhythm. A couple of early three-pointers from Bella Belvedere, Comm ’24, and Laura Donovan, Nurs ’24, and the Gaels found themselves ahead by one point halfway through the second quarter.
The offensive pressure from the Gaels didn’t stop there, with more three-pointers raining down, and point guard Haley Barbieri coming off the bench and making an immediate impact on the scoresheet, the Gaels found themselves up 13 by the end of the half.
At halftime, the Gaels were up 36-23.
The halftime break seemed to benefit the Voyageurs, as they came out with a 10-point run to start the second half.
While the Gaels eventually stopped the offensive pressure of the Voyageurs, they struggled to return to the offensive form seen in the second quarter.
The Voyageurs were up 43-38 at the end of the third quarter.
Julia Chadwick, ArtSci ’24, shifted the momentum for Queen’s going into the final quarter of the game, connecting with Bridget Mulholland, Kin ’24, to knock down a three-pointer.
Chadwick continued her strong presence in the fourth, forcing turnovers and recovering rebounds, helping the Gaels to mount a 16-point lead before the Voyageurs called a timeout with about five minutes left on the clock.
Barbieri dictated the remainder of the game, forcing a couple turnovers, sinking down threes, and handling contested layups with ease.
The Gaels closed out their game against the Voyageurs with a 72-45 victory.
The Men’s team tipped off against the Laurentian Voyageurs at 8 p.m. on Nov. 3.
Unlike the Gaels in the Women’s game, the men got off to a hot start.
The Gaels applied offensive pressure early, and points from centre Malcolm Bailey, ArtSci ’27, and a three-point throw from Michael Kelvin II, ArtSci ’25, forcing the Voyageurs to play aggressive from the start.
This led to a plethora of fouls called against the Voyageurs in the first quarter, as well as several turnovers, helping the Gaels gain an eight-point lead at the end of the first.
It was 22-14 for the Gaels at the end of first quarter.
In the second quarter we got to see a “Syllas takeover,” with brothers Cole Syllas, Sci ’24, and Luka Syllas, ConEd ’24, teaming up to force turnovers, set up their teammates, and knock down a couple of shots in Cole Syllas’ first appearance on the court after being benched due to injury. This contributed to a 15-point lead against the Voyageurs as the Gaels headed to halftime.
At the end of the second quarter the Gaels were ahead 44-29.
Moving into the third quarter, centre Isaac Krueger, ArtSci ’24, took over to show off his defensive abilities.
Krueger tallied a block and numerous rebounds throughout the quarter, in addition to sinking a three-point shot and a couple of free throws. He was a key factor in the Gaels entering the fourth quarter up by 28 points on Laurentian with a score of 65-37.
The Gaels saved their most dominant performance for the fourth quarter. A tip-in from Krueger and an electric fastbreak dunk from Luka Syllas helped the Gaels maintain momentum and increase their lead late in the game.
With the win now secured for the Gaels, free-throws started raining down as the Voyageurs struggled to contain the Gaels’ offensive prowess.
The Gaels would end the game ahead by 39-points, beating the Voyageurs with a final score of 85-46.
Throughout the rest of the weekend, both Men’s and Women’s basketball teams would add another win to their record against the Nipissing Lakers, with the Men’s team winning 93-47, and the Women winning 82-51.
The Gaels get back to action on Nov. 10 and 11, in Sudbury as they take on the Laurentian Voyageurs once again. They return to the ARC Nov. 17 for a home game against the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks.
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