The Gee-Gees finished 2-1 at the 2011 edition of the Rod Shoveller tournament at Dalhousie University after victories over AUS teams Acadia and St. Mary’s.
In action against Acadia on Friday, the Gee-Gees squeaked out a 76-73 victory thanks to a Warren Ward buzzer beater. The teams battled back and forth in a chippy affair which saw the lead change hands seven times.
Acadia grabbed the early lead but Yacob Issayas scored two three-pointers at the end of the first half to give Ottawa a 41-37 lead at the break. Vikas Gill then stepped up with 9 third quarter points to keep the Gee-Gees ahead 57-51 heading into the fourth. “The bench was the story for us today,” noted head coach James Derouin, “our scoring was more spread out today and we executed well. Everyone on this team works hard and it’s good for our group to be rewarded with a tough road win.”
In the final two minutes Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue tied the game from the free throw line before Acadia went up by two again. Out of a timeout, Gonthier-Dubue evened the score again by taking a Dimitrios Seymour feed at the elbow and driving the lane to finish a strong right handed layup. Acadia had one possession to try to pull ahead but missed their three-point shot and a put-back opportunity off the miss. The ball was tipped out of the scramble beneath the net and Ward was able to it chase down just at the top of the key. He took two long strides to free himself from the crowd and then hit a running half-court shot as time expired.
Of the buzzer beater, Derouin added, “It was really good to see that fall for him. He’s taken a lot of last minute shots for us and they don’t all work out. We’ve been kind of waiting to catch a break like that. We earned it today because we fought through some bad breaks during the game, faced some adversity, but the guys stayed together.”
Ward finished with 20 points, Gill scored 15 off the bench, and Gonthier-Dubue had 14 points and 9 rebounds. Owen Klassen (Kingston, Ont.) was the top scorer for Acadia with 18 points.
Against the Huskies, who are 2-5 in AUS play, the Gee-Gees led the game throughout after establishing a 23-11 first quarter lead. Ottawa used man-to-man defense for much of the first half, containing the quickness of the St. Mary’s perimeter players while countering with an up-tempo offense of their own. The third quarter slowed down considerably and the Gee-Gees worked deep into the shot clock on offense.
The Huskies kept Ottawa within reach due to second chance opportunities on the offensive glass and good penetration in the lane. In the final minute the Gee-Gees were able to get the ball to Berhanemeskel to take the late foul shots, and then got a defensive stop to seal the win, 92-80. Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue capped off a solid week of play with an 18 point, 12 rebound performance. Warren Ward led all scorers with 29 points, and Tory Fasset paced the Huskies with 24.
The Gee-Gees will now return to Ottawa for a week of practice before resuming the OUA regular season, at Laurentian (2-6 OUA) on Friday January 6.
Dec 30 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Acadia........................ 17 20 14 22 - 73
Ottawa Gee-Gees........12 29 16 19 - 76
Dec 31 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Saint Mary's Huskies.......... 11 23 23 23 - 80
Ottawa Gee-Gees............... 23 26 19 24 - 92