Men’s Basketball (3-4 OUA)
Hosting Laurier (7-0 OUA) on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. (SSN Canada)
uOttawa – Warren Ward (23 points, 6 rebounds); Johnny Berhanemeskel (15 points, 5 rebounds); Mike L’Africain (14 points, 5 rebounds)
Laurier – Kale Harrison (31 points, 4 rebounds); Patrick Donnelly (12 points, 7 rebounds); Matthew Buckley (9 points, 13 rebounds)
It was a close game from start to finish, but one that saw the Gee-Gees come out just shy in a 77-76 loss to the number eight nationally ranked Laurier Golden Hawks.
Rookie Mike L’Africain (Oakville, Ont.) had a massive first quarter for the Gee-Gees, with 12 points including two from behind the arc. Midway through the third, an incredible sequence of plays starting with an alley-oop from L’Africain to Warren Ward (London, Ont.) for the dunk, followed by a huge block from fourth-year centre Jordan Vig (Barrie, Ont.) on the defensive end, with second-year guard Johnny Berhanemeskel (Ottawa, Ont.) finishing with a piece of fancy footwork on the cross-dribble and the deuce got the full house at Montpetit Hall on its feet.
The Gee-Gees maintained a small lead for much of the game, but throughout the fourth both teams remained tied much of the time as they exchanged baskets. Another big block from Vig on defence led to a Ward basket that put the Gee-Gees up by two with under thirty seconds remaining. But a deep three-pointer from Laurier’s Kale Harrison, who finished with 31 points, would seal the Gee-Gees fate in this single point loss.
Gee-Gees captain fourth-year point guard Jacob Gibson-Bascombe (Toronto, Ont.) expressed the team’s disappointment with the loss, “It’s one of those games that came down to one possession, and we talk about it all the time, we talk about the little things, we talk about making free throws, we talk about turnovers, we talk about offensive rebounds and giving the other team extra possessions, and that’s what happens. Unfortunately we got the short end of the deal.”
“I’m happy with how we played; Laurier’s a quality, quality opponent. That’s one of the best teams in the country and we played them tough; you can’t get much closer than that,” said head coach James Derouin. “There was a couple of stretches where our shot selection wasn’t great and we were looking for the big, big shot instead of just making the simple plays. It’s just a learning experience for our team moving forward.”
Ward led the Gee-Gees in scoring with 23 points and six rebounds. Vig had a big game for the Gee-Gees tonight with four points, eight rebounds and four blocks in his 23 minutes of play. “I was real happy with Jordan Vig’s performance tonight; I thought he was excellent,” said Derouin after the game.
“There are good things going forward,” said Gibson-Bascombe, “It’s not the end of the season, we’ve still got Waterloo tomorrow and we’ll take care of our division [after Christmas].”
The Gee-Gees will close off the first half of their season hosting Waterloo (4-3) tomorrow, Saturday, December 3, at 8:00 p.m. for their final game before Christmas. (SSN Canada)