It was a historic night for Gee-Gees star Johnny Berhanemeskel as he became the all-time leader for points in a career by a Gee-Gee, surpassing Josh Gibson-Bascombe’s record of 1571. The Gee-Gees appeared to use the feat as fuel as they immediately jumped ahead and started to pull away to what ended up being a big 106-83 win versus the no. 4 McMaster.
Berhanemeskel was only 13 points shy of the record heading into the game and was quick to go to work as he finished the first half with 12 points. He made history early in the third quarter as he punched the ball into the paint and laid it in for a classic finger roll finish.
“It’s special in a sense because my team, my family and my coaches have supported me so much throughout my five years here so in a way this is me saying thank you to them. I am very grateful for everything that has been done for me and allowed me to get here and reach this accolade,” said Berhanemeskel who finished the game with 18 points and nine rebounds. “I think the fact that we have so many threats on this team is a huge asset for us and something that we will be able to use to our advantage this year.”
“If it was anyone else but Johnny [Berhanemeskel] I might have been worried that the whole record situation might have distracted him but not him. It’s an emotional thing and I think that pushed us a bit in this game. I knew the guys weren’t going to let us lose on the night that he broke the record and I knew that they had talked about it between them,” said head coach James Derouin.
It was an extremely close first half between the two high ranked teams and as they traded baskets no team was able to gain a distinct advantage. The garnet and grey broke things open in the second half however as Caleb Agada showed his intensity on defence, creating many points in transition. He finished with a game high 24 points,along with seven rebounds and four assists.
“There are games were my job is to motivate and some days it isn’t. They knew this was a huge game and that we were facing a great team so all I had to do is lay out the game plan for them,” said Derouin. “We were able to gain some steam in the second half and our bench came in big on defence which helped us down the stretch.”
The Gee-Gees shot 51.4 per cent in the game while all five starters reach double digits on the night. Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue came up big with 16 points and six rebounds while Vikas Gill and Mike L’Africain each chipped in with 14 points. Matt Plunkett also had an important role off the bench for the Gee-Gees as he shot 4-5 from long range and pulled down eight boards.
Adam Presutti led the way on the score sheet for the Marauders as he notched 20 points on 6-10 shooting from long range. Rohan Boney also had a strong performance as he added 18 points and three rebounds.
uOttawa will be back on their home floor tomorrow night when the welcome the Brock Badgers to Monpetit Hall at 8 p.m. The game will be the last contest before the team hits the road for two straight weekends away from home.