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PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Wilson Cup weekend kicks off with rivalry rematch

Wednesday March 1, 2017
Joueur tenant le ballon au dessus de sa tête, prêt à passer.
Photo: 
Greg Mason

Ryerson (1-0) at Ottawa (1-0)
Friday, March 3
8 p.m.
Ravens Nest (Carleton)
Tickets available online
Webcast on OUA.tv

Just two weeks ago, the Gee-Gees men's basketball team suffered its third loss of the regular season in an overtime upset at the hands of the Ryerson Rams. The game marked the end of the regular season and now, with both teams having won their quarterfinal games,  the rivals are prepared to clash once again—this time with a trip to nationals on the line.

It seems fitting that the teams are set to go head-to-head once again as they have encountered each other in all but one of the last five postseasons.

Heading into the Wilson Cup Final Four, which will be hosted by top-seeded Carleton, the Gee-Gees and Rams are seeded second and third and will have the benefit of a marquee 8 p.m. tipoff at the Ravens Nest. In the OUA, the victors of the two semifinal games advance to the Wilson Cup final as well as gain an automatic berth to the U SPORTS Final 8 tournament.

When the two teams met on February 18, there were two glaring reasons the Gee-Gees dropped the game in OT. One was free throw shooting woes and the other was the ongoing injury to Caleb Agada. If Ottawa’s win over Laurentian in the quarters was any sign of what is to come, both issues seem closer to being resolved. The Gee-Gees improved the paltry 35.4 per cent they shot from the line against Ryerson to a more respectable 65.5 a week later. Agada also made extensive strides in his recovery, posting an emphatic 16 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and two steals in the playoff opener.

Ryerson also improved in their quarterfinal game, as they swapped a zero-point bench performance against the Gee-Gees to 35 points against Nipissing. Perhaps the biggest key to a Gee-Gees victory is Agada's full-game of defence dealing with players like Adika Peter-McNeilly, who lit Ottawa up for 32 points.

Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles and Brody Maracle combined for 32 points against the Rams; if the pair can settle their free throw shooting woes they could be poised for another big game. 

The Wilson Cup final and bronze medal games will be held on Saturday, where the Gee-Gees will take on either Carleton or Brock depending on the results of the semifinal games.

A free shuttle will be provided from the 90U parking lot at 7:15 on Friday, as well as on Saturday 45 minutes prior to the tipoff of whichever game the Gee-Gees play.