Coming off of a stretch of preseason games spanning back to early August, the Gee-Gees men’s basketball team finally kicked off their regular season at home on Friday night. Taking on Algoma, the team powered to a 111-55 victory in-front of a packed house at Montpetit Hall.
Building off of the team’s strong shooting performance, they were able to lock the Thunderbirds down on the other end of the floor and rack up points in transition. The game’s tempo was much more aggressive early on, but in the second half, the Gee-Gees focused on limiting Algoma and getting their rhythm shooting the basketball.
First-year guard Alex Muise had a breakout game in his regular season debut, shooting 6-7 from the field and 4-5 from three to score 16 overall on the night.
“It’s just a great win to start the season,” said Muise. “In practice every day I’m told to keep shooting even if I’m missing, and today after I hit my first one, I kept shooting, and they were falling.”
After the game got away early, the Gee-Gees coaching staff was able to let younger players see increased minutes and lead them to the win. In only 22 minutes, fifth-year star Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles had a team high 17 points and nine rebounds.
After having 15 points in the first half, Brandon Robinson also gave way to the rookies to shine in the second.
Freshman Stef Duric, with 11 points and Chase Tynes, with nine points and seven rebounds had big moments along with Muise in the second half, showing a bright future for the Gee-Gees.
“That’s the future of the program right there,” said head coach James Derouin. “It’s obviously something positive moving forward, it’s great to see, I’ve been waiting to see it.”
The Gee-Gees defense was in peak form, holding Algoma to 28 points in the first half, and only 55 overall. Ottawa forced 22 turnovers, 14 of which were steals.
“There’s not really much of a negative to talk about,” said Derouin. “It was good to see the ball go in, and see some of the potential this team has offensively. It maybe gives some guys some confidence that were struggling a bit in the preseason and hopefully we can keep that moving forward.”
Next up for the Gee-Gees is the Guelph Gryphons, who have struggled to an 0-3 start to kick off their season. The game tips off on Saturday at 8 p.m. at Montpetit Hall and will be live streamed on OUA.tv.