If the past is any indication, the biggest game of the first half of the season has arrived for the no. 2 ranked uOttawa men’s basketball team as they prepare to face the undefeated Ryerson Rams at Montpetit Hall. Ryerson will be in town on Friday night while the University of Toronto (2-4) will visit the Gee-Gees on Saturday.
The nationally no. 3 ranked Rams have been taking care of the competition thus far this season as they currently sit at 6-0 and are fifth in the country in scoring with 90.0 points per game. The Rams are considered one the most athletic teams in the CIS and their transition game from defence to offence is one of the most effective in the nation.
Ryerson has held opponents to a CIS low 31.4 per cent shooting while on the other end the Rams are shooting 46.7 per cent from the field, which ranks fifth. Jahmal Jones has been a big part of that for the Rams, as now in his fifth year, he is the top contributor for the Toronto squad averaging 18.0 points and five dimes per game.
“I am expecting another classic matchup. The games between Ryerson and Ottawa over the last three years have been unreal. You don’t want to miss this one. They also have one of the deepest rosters in the country, so they are able to play at a high level of intensity throughout the entire forty minutes by using their bench,” said Ottawa head coach James Derouin on Tuesday afternoon.
Making the match-up between the teams all the more exciting is the fact that the Gee-Gees have also enjoyed a perfect 6-0 season and are currently the highest scoring team in the CIS, averaging 103.2 points. With a mix of uOttawa’s league best 53.3 per cent field goal percentage and the Rams’ defensive prowess, Gee-Gees nation is set for quite the grudge match come Friday evening.
Ottawa will need their starters and role players to continue to perform as they have thus far this season as the entire starting lineup along with sixth man Matt Plunkett are averaging over ten points per game this season. uOttawa male athlete of the week, Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue has had a history of big games against the Rams and will looked to provide a spark for the offence this weekend.
“I think our team is ready because they have been our rivals for the past five years basically. We want to prove that we are able to neutralize their offence by beating them by more than we have in the past. It’s going to be one of the biggest games of the season and one that has been marked on our calendar since the pre-season,” said Gonthier-Dubue who scored a combined 31 points and nine rebounds over last weekend.
On Saturday night the Gee-Gees will be visited by another Toronto team when the Varsity Blues come to town. The University of Toronto were last in Ottawa for the annual Jack Donohue tournament in which the Gee-Gees took them by storm with a 101-60 defeat.
“Toronto has a great coach in John Campbell and I see them improving quite a bit from when we saw them in our tournament. They will be familiar with our stuff and will definitely give us a tougher battle having played each other already,” commented Derouin. “So far, record wise, we are where we want to be but we still feel like we have some areas in which we need a lot of work.”
Both games will tip-off at 8 p.m. after the women’s games and will be available for online view on OUA.tv. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets online in advance of the game.
A RECENT HISTORY OF THE OTTAWA-RYERSON RIVALRY:
|25-Feb-12||Ryerson||Ryerson||74-71||OUA Quater final|
|23-Feb-13||Ottawa||Ottawa||74-70||OUA Quater final|
|22-Feb-14||Ottawa||Ottawa||79-78||OUA Quater final|