There is no better way to recover from a difficult loss than to come back with a dominant victory. The no. 2 ranked Gee-Gees did just that on Friday night as they blew out the York University Lions 117-88 to improve their record to 13-2 on the season.
uOttawa led the Lions from wire-to-wire, recording their season high for total points. The Gee-Gees stormed out of the gates in the first, scoring 35 points in the first quarter alone, and went on to shoot a lethal 19-36 from downtown and 54.2 per cent from the floor in the contest.
“We played with confidence tonight and that was important for us to be able to bounce back in this game. We talked about sending a message and think they were able to make a statement,” said head coach James Derouin. “If we were not ready for tonight’s game there is no doubt in my mind that they would have beaten us. They are a very athletic team that can hurt you if you’re not prepared. I’m definitely proud of my guys tonight.”
Fans at Montpetit Hall witnessed another all-out team effort by the Gee-Gees as a total of six players were in double digits on the night. Ottawa’s highest scorer however was Johnny Berhanemeskel who led the squad with 22 points and two steals, which included a 12-point second frame. York’s post man Ryan Ejim led all scorers with 25 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out of the contest.
Terry Thomas also put his personal touch on the game in the third quarter as he brought down the house with a high-powered slam through traffic. Following the dunk, Thomas hit two straight shots from beyond the arc to run up the score even more.
“It’s amazing to bounce back like this. This is an important weekend for us because we want to show that we can come back from a tough loss with some good basketball. We showed today that we can shoot the lights out when we get going and we’re able to give the fans some highlights,” said Thomas.
The Gee-Gees utilized their zone defence more than usual in this game and it proved to be effective at times - shutting down the Lions who rely heavily on their inside game to score points. “We tried to go to the zone defence a few times. They are not the best three-point shooting team so it was to our advantage to work on our zone. With that said, it still needs a lot of work and we could have been a lot better defensively,” Derouin said.
The Gee-Gees will return to action to tomorrow night at 8 p.m. to play out the final game of a five game home-stand in which they will face Greg Faulkner and the Queen’s University Gaels. Queen’s (7-8) is coming off a 104-65 loss to the Carleton Ravens.