BIBLE HILL – In a season full of setbacks, Sunday’s was probably the hardest to take for the Dalhousie Rams.
The Rams (0-12) suffered a 70-57 loss to the Saint John Seawolves at Langille Athletic Centre in what was a missed opportunity for the team to score its first win of the ACAA men’s basketball campaign.
“This was the game we were hoping we were going to win because it was against some close competition,” Rams forward Joe Gushue said. “So it’s tough because it was a close game and we didn’t get the win.”
The struggling Rams, who sit in the conference basement, were eager to get a crack at the sixth-place Seawolves, who came into the contest with an almost equally rough season at 2-7.
At first it looked as if the Rams might break the goose egg, trailing 16-15 after the opening quarter. But things changed in the second. Their defence broke down and several missed assignments allowed the Seawolves to build a 36-23 lead, outscoring the Rams 20-8 in the quarter.
“That was what killed us,” Gushue said. “We just didn’t play hard enough defence and it set us back.”
The quarter proved to be the difference as the two sides matched each other 15-15 in the third quarter and 19-19 in the fourth.
Tyler MacDonald led the Rams with 13 points while Gushue netted 12. Josh Borgal provided 11 points and Brookfield resident Cody Locke, who dropped three three-point shots, recorded 10.
Kayden Roy paced the Seawolves with 17 points.
The Rams were able to pull to within seven points with three minutes remaining, but a pair of fouls allowed the Seawolves to kill the pressure and the clock.
“At periods through the game we’re there but we still have a lot of work to do,” Gushue said.
With such a young team – Gushue is one of just two returning players – and the loss of three players over the Christmas break, the rest of the season looks bleak for the Rams. But Gushue said it’ll be important for his team to remember if they’re going to make a notch in the win column before the season is out, they’ll have to be relentless on the floor.
“That’s what we have to start remembering,” he said.
In the same matchup on the women’s side, the Seawolves cruised to an 84-24 win over the Rams.
Dalhousie remains winless in 12 games this season to sit in last among eight teams while Saint John (4-6) sit in sixth.
Hillary Hopper had six points to lead the Rams while Brookfield’s Jessica Leck had five and Emily Davis and Theresa Rankin each sank four.
Rachel Jefferson collected a game-high 19 points for Saint John.
Both Rams squads are back in action Thursday when they host the Crandall Chargers. The women play at 6 p.m. while the men battle at 8 p.m.