Men’s basketball 1-1 on weekend
Power-forward Mitch Leger and the rest of the Queen’s Gaels spoiled any home coming festivities the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ men’s basketball team had planned for the weekend.
The Hawks followed a win over the Royal Military College (RMC) Paladins on Friday with a sub-par performance against the Gaels on Saturday.
After being on the road for two losses in early November, the Hawks were looking for redemption in their first weekend playing on home court.
But the Gaels’ clutch shooting late in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference in a back-and-forth affair that saw Leger capture 21 points in a 64-63 win over the Hawks on Saturday.
The team knew they were up against a tough foe coming into the game.
“Leger’s as good a player as there is in either conference,” said Hawks’ head coach Peter Campbell. “We knew we had to compete.”
After winning handily the night before in an 89-66 rout over the RMC, the Hawks were looking to even their record at 2-2, but the Gaels were no Paladins.
“We didn’t play well [against RMC] and we got the win, and tonight we didn’t play well and we didn’t get the win,” Campbell assessed.
The Hawks started strong against the Gaels, with second-year Travis Berry nailing three 3-point shots, part of a 13-point game for the point guard.
Team captain Jesse MacDonald sank a shot at the buzzer in the first quarter to put the Hawks up 22-17 going into the second; MacDonald had a team-high 16 points.
However, in the second, the Hawks ran into foul trouble. After pulling out to a 30-20 lead, the purple and gold’s undisciplined play created the opportunity for the Gaels to go on a 19-3 run which continued into the second half.
Late in the fourth quarter, with the game tied at 63, the Hawks’ Matthew Buckley was called for a foul, and Bernard Burgesson sank one of his two free-throw attempts with just 13 ticks remaining on the clock to win the game for the Gaels.
“If we do the little things, we have that game won,” said Campbell. “We’d have runs going and we’d forget to rebound or we’d forget to box out, and that’s frustrating as hell.”
He also noted that the team needs to take better care of the opposing squad’s star players.
“We have a scouting report for everybody, but so far I think we’re zero(is this what he said, or was it “oh”) for three on guys we’ve wanted to do a good job on,” he said. “I don’t think we did an awful job on Mitch [Leger], he’s just a beast.”
MacDonald stated the team was too one-dimensional in the loss.
“We’ve got the pieces this year to not have to rely on just our shooting and right now we’re relying too much on it,” he said.
The team will try and get back on winning terms when they make the trek to Ottawa this weekend to play Carleton on Friday and Ottawa on Saturday.