Men’s Basketball (2-6 OUA)
Hosted McMaster (3-5 OUA) at Montpetit Hall on Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. (Rogers, SSN Canada)
Louis Gauthier 21 points, 8 rebounds; Johnny Berhanemeskel 18 points, 2 rebounds - uOttawa
Cam Michaud 21 points, 6 rebounds; Kenan Etale 11 points, 4 rebounds - McMaster
A win before the Christmas break was just what a rookie Gee-Gees squad needed after five straight losses, many by five or fewer points. Tonight’s 72-61 win came at the expense of the McMaster Marauders in front of a large, loud and rowdy home crowd.
Head coach James Derouin often says of fifth-year forward Louis Gauthier (Ottawa, Ont.), “He’s our guy and when he’s [playing well], we’re a really good team.” And did Gauthier ever play well tonight – amassing 21 points and eight rebounds. After an average first half, Gauthier came out in the second half to go six for six from the floor. “He continues to get more confidence and put up better numbers,” said Derouin.
“It’s expected of me,” responded Gauthier to his excellent play tonight, showing his true character and understanding of his leadership, “That’s got to be how I play.”
The Gee-Gees were down early, trailing 13-8 after the first quarter. Foul trouble early in the second quarter proved costly to the Gee-Gees, with McMaster getting eight opportunities at the free throw line to the Gee-Gees zero. Despite this, the Garnet and Grey held a slim 27-25 lead at half.
The third quarter saw the referee’s whistles blowing seemingly constantly, as both teams wracked up the fouls; the Marauders added 11 personal fouls and the Gee-Gees six. But the Gee-Gees continued to expand their lead into the final minutes of the frame, leading by seven heading into the final ten minutes. The final quarter only sealed the deal for the Gee-Gees, with uOttawa expanding their lead to 11 to guarantee the win.
“It’s definitely big, especially going into the break; we needed a win,” said Gautheir, “It just proves what we can do. The second half of the season is going to be big. It’s been a learning process for the first half the season.”
The rookies once again stole much of the show for the Gee-Gees, with first-year guard Johnny Berhanemeskel (Ottawa, Ont.) and first-year forward Matt Marshall (Burlington, Ont.) contributing greatly to the win tonight. Berhanemeskel added up 18 points and Derouin could only praise Marshall after the game.
“Matt Marshall wasn’t even dressing two weeks ago,” said Derouin, “But we decided to go with guys [tonight] who would fight and play hard. He’s an exceptional passer; he was just picking the [right] guy. He’s a real smart player and just did exactly what he needed to do. [He was] exactly what we needed.”
“Relieved is probably more the word,” said Derouin of the win tonight, “We needed that win, we needed it badly. After so many tight losses, that’s more important than our record.”
“There’s improvement every night,” concluded Derouin, “We need to forget the losses and remember the process that we’re getting better and we’re getting better. We got through the West and now we go take care of business in our division after Christmas.”
The Gee-Gees will travel to the UQAM Citadins Christmas Classic December 28-30 and play against former Gee-Gee’s Head Coach Dave DeAveiro’s new team, McGill in addition to Bishop’s and UQAM. The Gee-Gees return to regular season OUA action at home on January 7-8, 2011 as they host Toronto and Ryerson.