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Uottawa

HOME PREVIEW: Gee-Gees square off against division rival in OUA quarterfinal

Friday February 24, 2017
Two player jumping on a face off.
Photo: 
Ellen Bond

GAME INFO:

Laurentian (1-0) at Ottawa (0-0)
Saturday, February 25
3 p.m.
Montpetit Hall
Tickets available online
Webcast on OUA.tv

The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team begins their playoff push this weekend with a home matchup against a familiar foe in the seventh-seeded Laurentian Voyageurs. Ottawa earned the second-seed, which came with a preliminary round bye, while Laurentian defeated Laurier on Wednesday to advance.

Saturday’s clash will be the third time the teams meet this season, the first being a 74-59 win for the Gee-Gees in Sudbury, followed by a 92-77 win for the Gee-Gees at home in January. In 2015, the teams also met in the quarterfinals, which Ottawa won 116-71.

At first glance, it seems that the play of Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles and Brody Maracle will be key in a Gee-Gees win. In the two games against the Voyageurs this season, Pierre-Charles has averaged 17.5 points and 10.5 rebounds, while Maracle has posted 17 points and five rebounds.

A key weapon for Laurentian is guard Kadre Gray, the freshman phenom scorer led the nation with 23.2 points per game this season. The Gee-Gees held Gray to only 13 points in their last matchup, which is tied for lowest on the year. If Gray can find his rhythm in this game, the Voyageurs may have a puncher’s chance at victory.

Coming from a loss in their last game, uOttawa will look to get back on track in the playoffs, which may come down to health more than anything. With Caleb Agada still rehabbing from a leg injury and Matt Plunkett suffering a serious scare last weekend, a continued fight against the injury bug will be key for the team’s hopes going forward.

The game’s victor will earn a semifinal berth, where they will play for an appearance in the Wilson Cup final and an automatic qualification to the U SPORTS Final 8 in Halifax.