The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team kicked off the New Year with the first of a two-part weekend series in Waterloo, Ont. on Friday night. The nationally no. 4 ranked Gee-Gees cruised to a 83-48 win over the Waterloo Warriors (1-7), pushing the team’s regular season record to a perfect 6-0.
Caleb Agada was the driving force behind the Ottawa effort, stuffing his stat line with a 23-point and seven-steal, and six-assist performance in the win.
“After the break you never know how you're going to come out,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. “I was very very pleased. We had a good week of practice and obviously a successful tournament, so we came in feeling pretty good about where we're at.”
Ottawa burst out of the gate with a 9-0 run before the Warriors had to call a timeout. Agada and Brody Maracle traded scores in the early frame as the Gee-Gees closed out the quarter with a solid 19-8 lead.
The Gee-Gees offence erupted in the second quarter tallying 26 points before the half. The defensive unit locked down in the quarter, causing multiple Warriors turnovers and allowing only eight points. “Defensively and offensively all things were clicking,” said Derouin.
After the half, Derouin exercised his bench while the team grappled with foul troubles. Calvin Epistola was constant for the team through the stretch, hitting open shots, and playing aggressively on the defensive end. The second-year guard finished with 12 points off the bench.
“It was another really great performance,” said Derouin of his young point guard. “He seems to be really hitting his stride in his second year. We're thrilled with what we see so far.”
The Gee-Gees rolled their depth throughout the final quarter, allowing extended minutes for role players. Mackenzie Morrison and Andrew De Groot made the most of their playing time by scoring seven and five points respectively. Waterloo shot just 27.6 per cent from the field, and amassed 20 turnovers throughout the match.
The win also marks Derouin’s 100th during regular season play as the head coach of the Gee-Gees. He is the quickest to ever reach the mark, after taking over the team in 2010.
"Tonight was a good night," said Derouin. "Winning game 100 for my career was huge and I'm fortunate to coach some really good players."
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