It was evident that both teams were extremely hungry to get the win on Saturday night as it was an all-out battle on the court. However, the importance of having a go-to player like Johnny Berhanemeskel was the key to the Gee-Gees' success as he hit countless important shots in the fourth quarter, giving uOttawa the 100-85 edge.
Berhanemeskel notched a career high 38 points in the win.
“We're extremely happy with our record. The thing I’m most proud of is that we’re able to maintain our record despite being on a OUA West four game road trip. Any coach in the league will say how difficult doing that is and I'm proud of our guys for pulling it off,” said head coach James Derouin.
The score remained tight throughout the game but Ottawa was able to overtake the Marauders in the fourth frame, outscoring McMaster 30-18. Ottawa took the upper hand in the seesaw affaire when Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue and Johnny Berhanemeskel hit big shots to put them ahead by 12 points with two minutes remaining.
"We knew they were a good team but we kept our composure even when it was tight and could have went either way. We stuck to our game plan and it paid off without panicking even when it got tight," said Berhanemeskel. "We're happy whenever we can go on the road and get two wins, but there were somethings we took away from this weekend that need to be fixed and we're aware of it which is a step but we got to start making the changes."
With McMaster’s defence pre-occupied by Berhanemeskel, the Gee-Gees turned to Gonthier-Dubue in the second half as he chipped in 13 points, 10 rebounds and two assists. The tally was good for the centre's first double-double of the campaign. Ottawa also did a good job on playing efficiently as they shot 57.1 per cent from field goal range.
Johnny Berhanemeskel was in his regular form as he made spectacular shots in the first half and had a game-high 18 points at the break. He led the way on the score sheet for uOttawa with 38 points, two steals and three assists. Mehdi Tihani also had an underrated performance for the Gee-Gees as he was a menace on the defensive end and contributed offensively with 14 points, three steals and 3-for-3 shooting from long range.
The Gee-Gees have still yet to lose this season as they are a perfect 6-0 for the regular season and 14-0 on the entire season. The win also marks the third time this season that uOttawa has scored over 100 points in a game.
It will be a happy bus ride home for both Gee-Gees teams on Saturday night as both teams were successful in their games this weekend. They will be back in back Ottawa next weekend for two long awaited home games versus Waterloo and Laurier.