The no. 4 nationally ranked Gee-Gees men’s basketball team came out on top of its first Top Ten matchup of the regular season, taking down the no. 7 ranked McMaster Marauders by a 79-59 score on Friday night.
Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles led all scorers with 21 points and also collected three huge blocks and three steals as part of another strong defensive effort from Ottawa. McMaster was led by 19 points from Connor Gilmore, but shot just 35 per cent from the field as a team.
“Our defence sets the tone for us,” said Pierre-Charles. “The first time playing at home it was easy to get energy to play D and we kept coming. The energy got the hops going and we pride ourselves on being an athletic defensive team.”
Caleb Agada and Adam Presutti, who was masterful against his former team, added 17 points apiece for the Gee-Gees cause. Brody Maracle led the squad with eight rebounds.
Using the home crowd to buoy the energy, Ottawa jumped out to a 17-5 lead to start the game. After McMaster made a run to open the second quarter and close the gap to 23-20, the Gee-Gees responded out of a time out with a pair of transition buckets from Pierre-Charles before
Matt Plunkett stepped into a quick-release three to make it 41-29. At that point the electricity in Montpetit Hall was cranked up loud by the packed student section.
The physicality picked up at the start of the second half; inside buckets were harder to come by and rebounding meant risking a trip to the floor. Solid two-way player Calvin Epistola provided energy-adding plays to a game that was not lacking in energy. Presutti capped off the third quarter with a three-pointer at the buzzer which put Ottawa up by 20 points for the first time in the contest.
“Overdue is the word for the energy tonight,” said Derouin. “To have the parents and the students out here was really good energy. You could see the energy written all over the game.”