The third-ranked Gee-Gees men’s basketball team got fully back on track with a resounding 72-50 win over Queen’s after struggling at York on Friday night.
Without the services of Caleb Agada, who was injured the prior night, the Gee-Gees still found success in all facets of the game against a hungry Gaels team coming off of a blowout. Brody Maracle returned to action after missing a game, and a homecoming for the Napanee native resulted in 15 points, eight rebounds, and a pair of assists and steals. Adam Presutti and Brandon Robinson continued their offensive success, scoring 13 and 11 points respectively in the win.
“We needed guys like Adam and Brandon to step up and carry bigger loads in games like this, and they did a great job in this one,” said head coach James Derouin.
In the preseason, the Gee-Gees beat the Gaels on the same floor in a much closer contested game, this time, Ottawa pulled away and never looked back. The team struggled from beyond the arc, going 7-29, but it was their work inside on higher percentage looks that spelled victory.
Defensively, the team froze out opposing shooters from the field, holding them to only 35.1 per cent and an abysmal 14.3 per cent from three. Sukhpreet Singh was the player to watch for the Gaels, and despite scoring 16 points in the game, he had no opportunity to take over and get his team to crawl back.
“We executed well, but there’s still a lot to improve on,” said Derouin. “They’re a team that has always played us tough, but our performance on defence really paid off tonight.”
Going forward, the team will have to work extra hard at keeping the injury bug at bay. Agada and Maracle missed games, while Calvin Epistola and Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles had scares of their own this weekend. With playoffs rapidly approaching, this is the most difficult time to remain healthy, but also the most essential.
“Most teams are a little banged up at this point, but it’s about how you react to it,” said Derouin. “Things ramp up quickly with playoffs, so it’s a priority to make sure we’re get healthy and are at our best going forward.”
The Gee-Gees will prepare for their final home games of the regular season next weekend. Up first is Toronto, before facing fifth-ranked Ryerson on Saturday.