Close game ends in loss to Golden Gaels

Western's offensive spurts not enough for win

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Western' men basketball: blocking the shot with his hands

Jon Purdy

"ABRACADABRA ... DAMN, IT DIDN'T WORK!" Even magic didn't help the men's basketball team edge out Queen's this weekend. Western lost 82-71 against the Golden Gaels at Alumni Hall.

On a night where the rim seemed tiny for Western, Brad Smith’s 21 points were not enough to overcome the Queen’s Golden Gaels last Friday.

The Mustangs shot just over 30 per cent from the floor and a paltry four for 23 beyond the arc en route to an 82-71 loss to Queen’s.

“We didn’t play well today and shot the ball poorly, but our guys never quit and played hard until the end. [They] had a fantastic effort,” Western head coach Brad Campbell said.

From the onset of the first quarter, the Gaels rode hot shooting and took away most of Western’s low-post game through double-teaming its big men inside every time the ’Stangs got the ball.

While a Jason Milliquet three-pointer cut the Queen’s lead to 21-10 with 2:44 left in the first frame, the ’Stangs could not chip away much more from the lead, trailing 27-18 heading into the second quarter.

“We’ve defended everybody well,” Queen’s head coach Rob Smart said. “We play good defence and we play a semi-controlled offence. When it’s there we run, but when we don’t run we make people defend all over the floor and it’s tough to run [the floor] against us for that reason.”

Looking to cut the deficit, the ’Stangs picked up the Queen’s guards and defensively halted the visitors’ offensive attack in the second stanza.

“We tried to up the tempo and keep the defensive intensity high, and possibly create some turnovers for the offensive end,” Western point guard Matt Curtis said.

Curtis’ three-point play with 4:57 left in the second tied the game at 31 apiece. Western momentarily took the lead shortly after.

The lead was short-lived, though, as a three pointer by Queen’s forward Jon Ogden put the Golden Gaels up 43-39 with a minute remaining in the first half. Queen’s led by six at the break.

In the second half, Western went ice cold, scoring only 14 points in the third.

Despite facing a number of different defensive looks from the home side, the Gaels buried their shots from everywhere on the floor. Four different Queen’s players finished the game with at least 10 points.

“We gave them a lot of open looks and they’re a good shooting team,” Curtis said. “When you give a good shooting team open looks, they’re going to make them.”

While Western made a late run in the fourth quarter to trim the Gaels’ lead to 11 points, it was too late. Campbell addressed his team’s inconsistent play, which has plagued them so far this season.

“I think for some of our spurts today we had some defensive lapses,” he said. “At the same time we shot 31 per cent from the floor, which is partly attributed to our shot selection and not making shots; a lot of it is due to the fact Queen’s is a good team and [it] play[s] good defence.”

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette