It was a tight battle between two highly talented teams on Saturday night, but in the end uOttawa was the team that prevailed taking a 96-85 victory at home. The win brings their record 2-0 on the season and 10-0, with pre-season factored in.
Johnny Berhanemeskel became the Gee-Gees' top all-time shooter from long range on Saturday night, breaking the previous record of 199 made three-pointers set by Alex McLeod who played for uOttawa from 2002-07. The historic shot came from a foot off of the three-point line as he pulled up and launched a shot over his defender, Josh Collins. The guard finished with a game high 34 points and six rebounds, including five treys to establish the new uOttawa record at 200 regular season three-pointers.
“It was good to get this record out of the way now rather than later into the season. I love games like this, it’s good for our guys because with the intensity of these games a mistake seems even worse than it is so it’s great for the learning curb,” commented Berhanemeskel. “They didn’t make it easy for us. It was a grind and they are a great team but thankfully we were able to squeeze this victory out.”
After holding a ten point lead for the majority of the first half, the Gee-Gees were flat in the third quarter which allowed Windsor to get back into the game. However, the turning point of the game came when Vikas Gill and Caleb Agada hit back-to-back three pointers to open the final frame. uOttawa outscored the Lancers 31-19 in the final quarter and took the hard fought victory.
“I thought we were a little bit flat out of the third quarter but I also think Windsor is just a great team. They came out and made some big shots during that stretch but thankfully we handled it and moved on,” said head coach James Derouin. “Our gang rebounded very well tonight and that’s what we wanted. They are such a big team so it was really nice to see everybody get after it on the boards.”
Windsor's Enrico Diloreto put in a solid effort for the Lancers, scoring 29 points of which 17 came in the first half. Josh Collins also chipped in with four three-pointers and 20 points.
Second-year Caleb Agada dazzled once again as he had the entire house on its feet in the first quarter when he completed two consecutive rim-rattling dunks in transition. The highlight of the night worthy dunks gave uOttawa a much needed boost, keying a 14-2 run.
The forward posted 27 points, six rebounds and four steals. The point total sets a new career high for Agada, topping the 18 which was set on Friday night versus Western.
Ottawa was able to carry the lead all the way into the half time break as they took a 47-40 lead into the locker room.
The Gee-Gees will take to the road next weekend where they will face the University of Guelph on Friday night followed by a matchup with Lakehead University on Saturday.