Men’s Basketball (4-4 OUA)
@ Laurentian (2-6) on Friday, January 6, 8:00 p.m. (SSN Canada)
@ York (0-8 OUA) on Saturday, January 7, 8:00 p.m. (SSN Canada)
The exam and holiday break was a productive one for the Gee-Gees men’s basketball team. They returned from the Rod Shoveller exhibition tournament in Halifax with two more wins under their belt, along with the learning experiences that come with losing in overtime to the second-ranked team in the country.
“We played three very talented offensive teams,” summed up head coach James Derouin. “The style of play was great preparation for going into Laurentian – they are a very dangerous team and are better than their record.”
Two of the Laurentian losses thus far have come in overtime, and Derouin expects to see Manny Pasquale - the Voyageurs’ key offensive weapon - back on the court for Friday. Pasquale has been out since November 12 after posting back-to-back 29 point games. Ottawa won all three match-ups with Laurentian last season, including an 83-77 OUA East quarterfinal victory.
After the game against Laurentian, the Gees will travel to face the winless York Lions. The Lions are certainly struggling to find their feet this year, but they gave uOttawa problems last season. The teams played two close games with York winning the first 73-68 at Montpetit Hall before the Gee-Gees took the road game 88-83.
Both games this weekend will be available on SSN Canada.
More notes from the Rod Shoveller Tournament:
Warren Ward earned a nod as tournament all-star by averaging 20.3 points and 8.3 rebounds. He also sank the YouTube-worthy game winning buzzer-beater from half court against Acadia. Ward currently sits fourth in the OUA in points per game (21.00).
Johnny Berhanemeskel tied his career high with 31 points against St. F-X. The second year guard also scored 31 points last season in the Gee-Gees’ win over Laurentian, February 5th.
Coach Derouin believes the tournament represents a benchmark in the continuing development of Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue. “He just continues to improve and his confidence is high. I think he has now established himself as a major player for this team.” The second year post player averaged 13.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game in the tournament.