The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team kicked off the Jack Donohue Tournament with a 91-79 win over the York Lions. Mike L’Africain led all scorers with 21 points in the game, all from beyond the three-point arc.
The fifth-year point guard lifted his team in the fourth quarter, bucketing four long distance shots to finally put Ottawa out in front comfortably. York hung with the home squad for much of the middle two quarters, contesting every loose ball and operating at a high pace.
With five minutes to play it was still a five-point lead for Ottawa. The Gee-Gees got a key steal in half court pressure and big threes from Vikas Gill and L’Africain to extend the lead to double digits.
Ottawa led 20-11 at the end of the first quarter, but intelligent inside shots and trips to the free throw line helped York climb back and tie the game 32-32. The Lions led by one 39-38 at halftime with forward Tommy Hobbs contributing 11 points to the effort. Hobbs finished with 15 to lead the Lions.
“They were able penetrate against our zone, they were able to penetrate against our man,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. “It’s an area that I was concerned about and we couldn’t get consistent effort defensively.”
Brandon Robinson hit a triple to lift Ottawa back in front 50-47, and Matt Plunkett followed it up 55-51. Caleb Agada came up with a huge block in transition in the final minute of the third quarter as the Lions were using transition buckets to escape Ottawa’s defensive pressure.
Gill went 5-6 from long distance and finished with 15 points. Agada tallied 14 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals in 24 minutes.
In the evening’s second game, the McGill Redmen and UNB Varsity Reds played another close one. McGill led 76-70 with five minutes to play, and UNB cut that to a three-point margin in a furious final minute of action. A big offensive rebound by Francois Bourque allowed the Redmen to hold on for a 91-84 win.
Four McGill players finished in double digits, led by 18 from Vincent Dufort. For UNB it was Javon Masters with 31 points and a double-double from Mark Matheson with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The tournament continues Saturday with McGill taking on York at 6 p.m and the Gee-Gees meeting the Varsity Reds at 8 p.m. All games are webcast on OUA.tv.