With six points in the final five seconds of regulation time, the Queen’s Golden Gaels sent their Ontario University Athletics men’s basketball game to overtime Friday night, and riding the crest of that momentum, they went on to defeat the Western Mustangs 99-93 at the Athletics and Recreation Centre.
When Western’s Greg Morrow made his second consecutive jump shot to take a one-point Mustangs lead to five points with 28 seconds remaining in the game, the Gaels appeared to be sunk but there ensued a wild finish.
Sukhpreet Singh drained a three-point basket to cut the deficit to two points with 18 seconds left.
The Gaels fouled, and sent Western’s Alex Coote to the foul line, where he made both free throws with nine seconds remaining. The Gaels called timeout and that led to a three-point basket by Andrew Mavety with three seconds on the clock, which was immediately followed by another foul.
The Gaels agakn fouled Coote, a 70 per cent free-throw shooter who again made both of his foul shots, restoring the Western lead to three points, 78-75. As the Gaels brought the ball up the court, Singh let go with a desperation shot from the sideline, just inside mid-court, that didn’t come close to scoring, but a foul was called. After deliberating, the officials awarded Singh three free throws.
With the clock showing just 0.5 seconds remaining, he made them all.
From there, Queen’s outscored the visitors 21-12 in overtime to claim their fourth consecutive victory, one that improved their record to 10-5, good for second place in the East division going into a game at home Saturday night against Windsor.
In a back-and-forth game of runs, Queen’s scored 12 of the first 14 points in the game, but by halftime Western held a 33-31 lead.
With Sammy Ayisi starting the second half for Queen’s with back-to-back three-point baskets, the Gaels regained the lead, and the score was 56-50 in Queen’s favour going into the fourth quarter.
The Gaels led for most of the period, but as the teams traded baskets Western crept closer, taking the lead at 70-68 with 101 seconds left in regulation time.
That led to Morrow’s two baskets and, subsequently, the wild finish.
"We wanted to pressure them and we didn't do that in the first half really well," Gaels coach Steph Barrie said, in a release. “(Western is) very good defensively and made some threes. In the second half we got the pace of the game up and pressed them a bit more (but) they adjusted well in the fourth.
“The deciding factor before the last play of the game was we executed what we needed to in order to get that opportunity. In overtime, we gained some new life.”
Tanner Graham, the sophomore from La Salle Secondary School, scored 24 points to lead Queen’s, eight of them in overtime. Mike Shoveller added 16 to the winning attack, scoring 10 of them in the first quarter. Singh finished the game with 14 points.
The Gaels, who shot better than 48 per cent from the field, got 13 points apiece from Ayisi and Mavety, the latter of whom came off the bench to do so.
Peter Scholtes, with 21 points, Anthony Spiridis, with 19, and Morrow, with 18, led Western, which suffered its first loss in five games and fell to 8-8.