The no. 2 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees closed out the opening portion of the OUA regular season schedule with an 86-60 victory over the Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday night. The win runs Ottawa’s record to 7-0 in the regular season and 13-0 overall against CIS competition this year.
Johnny Berhanemeskel led all scorers with a 27 point night before sitting out the fourth quarter. The fifth-year guard shot 11-16 from the field in his 21 minutes of action, and was masterful in his decision making on offence.
Toronto’s duo of Julien Clarke and Devin Johnson each scored 14, with Johnson adding a game-high nine rebounds. The Blues had a tough day from the field, shooting 34 per cent as a team.
Ottawa was in control throughout the first half, holding Toronto to 12 points through the opening 14 minutes of action. Still, the nation’s leading offence looked slow and defensive lapses allowed the Blues to pick up some easy baskets, trailing just 37-24 at half.
“I had anticipated a slow start but I thought we would get over it sooner. Tonight was disappointing, and Johnny had to carry us,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. “We weren’t sharp on our layups and finishing around the rim. We didn’t look good tonight, and our consistency is what we need to work on, particularly defensively.”
Things opened up in the fourth quarter, with the teams pouring in a combined 52 points. Caleb Agada provided the offensive highlight of the night as the third quarter drew to a close, taking passes on back-to-back Toronto turnovers into the hands of pressuring Ottawa defenders, and converting with a dunk and a pretty spinning lay-up.
Matt Nelson was the highlight on the defensive end, picking up four blocks including two which showed all 6-foot-9 of his height. Nelson and Noel Jones put in solid performances in relief of Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue, who played just ten minutes.
“Noel is still getting his legs behind him but I thought he showed signs tonight and that’s certainly a positive,” said Derouin.
1 2 3 4 F
Ottawa 21 16 21 28 86
Toronto 12 12 12 24 60