Men’s Final 8
Halifax (U SPORTS) – The UQAM Citadins earned a fifth-place finish at the 2023 U SPORTS Men’s Final 8 with a hard-fought 89-85 victory over the Queen's Gaels in Sunday’s consolation final at the Scotiabank Centre. Karl-Tommy Laforest earned Nike Top Performer recognition for the Citadins, netting 14 points and picking up 10 rebounds. Luka Syllas was the Nike Top Performer for Queen's, scoring 23 points and picking up 10 rebounds.
Queen’s displayed its high-speed offence early, building an 8-2 lead in the first five minutes, with first-team All-Canadian Cole Syllas netting six of those points. UQAM did not back down and made it a one-point game in the final minute of the first quarter. Queen's extended their lead to three points late, but a buzzer-beating three from Citadins Elie Karojo tied the game at 21 apiece heading to the second period.
The teams traded buckets early in the second, and the lead changed hands early before UQAM was able to create some distance late. Luka Syllas had five points from the charity stripe in the first half for Queen's, while Samuel Cayo's dunk just before halftime gave UQAM a 47-38 lead at the interval.
After UQAM expanded their lead to 57-47, the Gaels went on an 8-0 run over 1:28 midway through the third to cut the margin to two points. They continued to pressure the Citadins' defence and took the lead at 62-61 with 2:08 left in the period, the Gaels’ first lead since early in the second. Turnovers continued to cost the Gaels, and McFadden Jean's finish on an alley-oop dunk saw UQAM stay ahead 68-62 heading into the final quarter.
The six-point lead remained in the final five minutes, but the Gaels fought back, with the Citadins holding a slim 85-84 lead with two minutes left. However, UQAM handled the pressure and pulled out the 89-85 win to secure their best-ever finish at the Men’s Final 8.
For Queen’s, both Syllas brothers finished with 23 points, while Michael Kelvin added 16. UQAM had five players in double figures, with Laforest, Kaorojo, Cayo and Bahaïde Haïdara each scoring 14.
Nike Top Performers
- Queens: Luka Syllas
- UQAM: Karl-Tommy Laforest