The 2016-17 Gee-Gees men’s basketball team battled until the final second of their season, which most likely came to a close at the Ravens’ Nest on Saturday night. The fourth-seeded Brock Badgers pulled off the upset, clinching the 69-67 win in the final seconds. The Badgers pushed Ottawa from the opening tip, and their efforts ultimately paid off in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.
Both teams will await the decision regarding the FInal 8 at-large berth, which will be determined Sunday. Ottawa has earned the at-large berth each of the last two season as the OUA bronze medal winners.
Despite a heroic effort from graduating fifth-year senior and captain Caleb Agada, the Gee-Gees were unable to mount the comeback and capture the bronze medal. Agada’s swan song went to the tune of 22 points, three rebounds, two steals, and a block. However, as Agada’s career comes to a close, the performance of third-year Brandon Robinson will not go unnoticed, a 14-point performance was almost capped off with the game tying basket, one that fell just short of hitting.
Matt Plunkett had a solid game in his final time suiting up in garnet and grey, the fifth-year shooter had seven points and eight rebounds despite dealing with foul troubles in the second half. Adam Presutti is the final member of the team graduating after one successful year with the team; Presutti played his first four years at McMaster before coming to the team this season. Presutti had a strong eight point, six rebound, three assist performance to close his collegiate career.
For the Badgers, it was Cassidy Ryan and Tyler Brown who guided their team to victory. Ryan posted 19 points, despite fouling out in the final minutes, and Brown’s 13 points proved to be back-breaking to Ottawa throughout.
Free throw shooting was key to the unraveling of the Gee-Gees down the stretch this year. The team struggled from the line once again shooting only 60 per cent from the line, including a big miss by Agada that could have turned the game around for his team.
“If we can accept all of our success, we have to accept our failure as well,” said head coach James Derouin. “Brock played a great game tonight, they played physical, they bodied us and they deserved to win it… I congratulate them, they played a great game.”
This season will be the first since 2011-12 where the Gee-Gees did not make an appearance at the national tournament. Agada and Plunkett were the sole members of the team that began an impressive four years of contention for a national title.
“It’s a tough way to end it for our three seniors, a great career for those three guys and (Agada and Plunkett) in particular. “I’m proud of my guys, I’m proud of the way they completed tonight. Unfortunately, we were a free throw short [along the way].”