Laval (2-6) 77, Queen’s (2-5) 69… 6’5″ Alexandre Leclerc broke out of a mini shooting slump going 5 for 8 from downtown and Rouge et Or led virtually the entire way, jumping out to a 22-6 lead and later holding off some Gaels runs in a solid home win. Each of Laval, Queen’s and UNB finish 1-1 in the mini-three-team event in Ste. Foy.
Leclerc came out of the gate on fire, making threes on the first two possessions of the game as Laval led by 16 early. But 6’6″ Tanner Graham, assuming much of the Gaels offensive responsibilities in the absence of 6’3″ Sukhpreet Singh, knocked down back-to-back 3’s himself as part of an 18-7 Gaels run that got it to 5. Later Queen’s got it down to one at 35-34 on a bucket by 6’6″ Russell Winters, who returned this weekend after a back injury, but Laval began the second half on an 11-4 run to reestablish a double digit lead. Queen’s then had it to three but Leclerc’s buzzer-beater at the end of the third restored a six point lead that later again grew to double digits. The multi-faceted wing forward, who was runner-up to UQAM’s Kewyn Blain for RSEQ POY last season, finished with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, reminding observers that Leclerc is one of the finer all-round players in the country.
Gaels once again were out-rebounded (41-28) a growing concern for Head Coach Steph Barrie and shot just 6 for 26 from three. Queen’s got a nice game from 6’2″ Isse Ibrahim who ended with 9 assists as Tanner Graham led the way with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
Queen’s is now off until they begin their OUA regular season schedule with trips to York (Nov. 11th) and Guelph (Nov. 12th). Laval starts their RSEQ regular season schedule on Thursday, November 10th at McGill in Montreal.