For the second night in a row, the Queen’s Golden Gaels staged a remarkable comeback but Saturday night in the Athletics and Recreation Centre, it fell short, as the Windsor Lancers pinned a 93-87 Ontario University Athletics men's basketball defeat on the Gaels.
The loss left the Gaels 10-6, and eliminated any chance they had of catching East division-leading Ryerson for first place. The setback ended a three-game Queen’s winning streak, but it was the fifth loss in nine games for the Gaels since Christmas.
It was the third time in defeat this year that Queen’s has surrendered 90 points or more.
After Windsor took a 6-5 lead four minutes into the ball game, the Lancers never trailed, with period leads of 22-15, 46-29 and 67-56. With five minutes remaining in the game, the visitors led by 15 points. Still trailing by 13 with 73 seconds left, the Gaels’ comeback commenced when Sukhpreet Singh completed a three-point play, and Tanner Graham promptly hit a three-point shot to trim six points off the deficit.
The teams traded free throws, Singh hit a jump shot and then he hit a three-point shot with 20 seconds to go to make the score 90-87, but unlike Friday, when the Gaels completed the comeback and defeated Western in overtime, Windsor held on. Singh missed his bid for a game-tying three-pointer with 11 seconds left and Alex Campbell made three of four free throws in the closing seconds to complete the victory, the West division-leading Lancers’ sixth in a row.
The loss spoiled a 31-point fourth quarter by Queen’s, one that was fuelled by a 16-5 run late in the game.
Gaels coach Steph Barrie said he was disappointed with his team’s play in the first half. “We were tentative and hesitant,” he said, in a release.
“In the second half our intensity went up significantly and got us back in the game. We were able to keep within striking distance but it was too little, too late. If we had played that way in the first half, the game could have had a different flavour altogether.
“Windsor is always a team that can catch fire. Had we played harder and with more intensity in the first half, some of that rhythm that they got (initially) probably would have been more difficult to retain. They maybe don’t get as hot for as long, and it’s a different game.”
Singh finished the game with 30 points, 24 of which came in the second half. It was the fourth time in league play this year that Singh has scored 30 points or more.
Graham scored 21 points, pulled down five rebounds and blocked two shots in the losing cause. Andrew Mavety came off the bench to score 12 points for Queen’s, and Mike Shoveller had a game-best 11 rebounds.
Campbell scored 23 points for Windsor, 11-6, while Tyler Persaud added 17 points and Mike Rocca scored 15. The Lancers were good on better than 53 per cent of their shots from the field, and better than 54 per cent of their attempts from beyond the three-point arc.
The Gaels’ next game will be played Saturday in Sault Ste. Marie against the Algoma Thunderbirds. Queen’s will close its regular schedule Feb. 26-27, at home against Ryerson and Toronto.