Queen’s Golden Gaels withstood a late comeback bid by the York Lions to claim a 62-59 Ontario University Athletics men’s basketball victory Saturday afternoon in Toronto.
Sukhpreet Singh scored 22 points to lead the Gaels to their seventh win in 10 games, as they strengthened their position in second place in the East division. It was the sixth time this season that Singh has scored 20 points or more in a game.
Neither team was able to extend a lead beyond seven points and in a game that had nine lead changes, the Gaels led 27-26 at halftime and 48-45 going into the fourth quarter. A 7-1 spurt to start the final period gave York a three-point lead. Bayridge Secondary School grad Nathan Culbreath hit a jump shot and a free throw to break a 49-49 tie.
Andrew Mavety tied the game for Queen’s with a three-point basket, and Singh scored eight straight points for the Gaels, as they put together an 8-2 run that gave them a 60-54 lead with about a minute and a half to play.
Culbreath, a third-year engineering student, then went to work. He hit a free throw, then two more, and his successful jump shot with 17 seconds left cut the Lions’ deficit to a single point, at 60-59. Mark Paclibar then hit a pair of free throws for the Gaels, who escaped with the win when Culbreath’s bid for a three-point basket at the buzzer failed.
Ryall Stroud scored 12 points and pulled down a game-best eight rebounds for Queen’s, which ended a two-game losing streak to remain two points behind division-leading Ryerson.
Culbreath had 20 points for York, as the Lions slipped to 3-7.
The Gaels now face what will probably be their most difficult weekend of the season. They’ll travel to Ottawa Friday for a game with the No. 1-ranked Gee-Gees, and stay there for a Saturday contest with the second-ranked Carleton Ravens.