Oshawa, Ont. (via Ontario Tech Ridgebacks) – After a year of building toward the 2019-20 season, the Ontario Tech University basketball teams hosted their first-ever home games Sunday afternoon.
Unfortunately, the visiting Queen’s Gaels spoiled the Ridgebacks homecoming with a 98-64 victory in the women’s game, followed by an 83-61 Gaels win against the Ontario Tech men’s team.
“It’s still very early in our program’s history, so we don’t look at Sunday’s result as an indication of success, but rather look at the impact of the game,” said athletic director Scott Barker. “Our team hung with a nationally-ranked program for much of the game, but more importantly we saw a great turnout from the community, students, faculty and staff. We knew this program would have a positive impact in the community and were proud to see that come to fruition on Sunday.”
The Ridgebacks saw a crowd of over 900 through the gate for the inaugural games.
Ontario Tech’s Bilan Khadar made her OUA debut on Sunday, dropping a game-high 18 points for the Ridgebacks on 8-for-14 shooting from the floor, including 2-for-4 from three.
Dalyssa Fleurgin finished with 14, the only other Ontario Tech scorer to be in double digits, while the Gaels had five players finish in double digits.
Emma Weltz and Natalie Froese each dropped 17 to lead the Gaels offence in the contest.
“It was a great environment for our inaugural game,” said Ridgebacks women’s basketball head coach Christa Eniojukan. “Our team is continuing to grow and get better. I was happy with the way we bounced back and competed to end the second quarter and start the third. Queen’s is a talented team and they shot the ball extremely well, they are ranked fifth in the country for a reason.”
In the men’s game Harry Range shot an impressive 10-for-13 from the field, finishing with a game-high 23 points. He also had a double-double in sight, ending the night with eight boards.
For the home squad, Ammar Hassan had the Ridgebacks’ high of 18 points, while also finishing with the games only double-double by pulling in 13 rebounds.
Graddy Kanku and Janath Kumar dropped 13 and 11 respectively for Ontario Tech in the loss.
Ontario Tech’s homestand continues next weekend when they host the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Friday and Carleton Ravens on Saturday. Tip-off for both nights sees the women play at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m.