Men’s Basketball (18-4 OUA, 1-2 playoffs)
Hosted Lakehead (17-5 OUA, 2-1 playoff) Saturday, March13, 3:00 p.m. at Montpetit Hall for the OUA bronze medal game (Rogers, SSN Canada)
Lakehead 26 78
uOttawa 33 73
Warren Ward, 29 points, 9 rebounds; Josh Gibson-Bascombe, 16 points, 10 rebounds; Donnie Gibson, 16 points, 2 rebounds – uOttawa
Jamie Searle, 18 points, 4 rebounds; Yoorsie Salhia, 16 points, 11 rebounds – Lakehead
It was the game on which everything hinged – the OUA bronze medal and a berth to the CIS national championships, and the Gee-Gees showed up. With the Gee-Gees fans out in full force to support their team, uOttawa dominated for the most of the game, but it was the fourth quarter that sunk any Gee-Gees hopes of appearing in the nationals in their 78-73 loss to the Lakehead Thunderwolves.
Second-year guard Warren Ward (Brampton, Ont.) opened up the game’s scoring with the first two baskets to gain a four point lead for the Gee-Gees. The Thunderwolves put pressure on fifth-year guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe (Toronto, Ont.) and momentarily stole the lead. But Ward continued to be a force on offence, amassing 13 of the team’s 20 points of the quarter. The Gee-Gees led 20-13 at the end of the first.
In the second quarter, fifth-year veteran Donnie Gibson (Kingston, Ont.) excelled from the arc, going three for three in his three-point attempts, scoring one from well beyond the line halfway in to beat the shot clock. Both teams were strong defensively which produced a low-scoring 13 point quarter for each team, with uOttawa carrying a shy 33-26 lead after half.
Gibson-Bascombe came alive in third, sinking 11 points to bring the Gee-Gees lead to eight heading into the final ten minutes. But the Thunderwolves rallied in the final break and came flying into what proved to be the Gee-Gees detrimental fourth quarter. Lakehead sprung into the fourth quarter with a 15 point run, which proved to be too much for uOttawa to come back from.
Nerves proved to get to both teams, with players from both sides missing basic and vital shots in the final quarter. In a roller-coaster of emotions in the final minutes, the Gee-Gees looked like they might come back for a fleeting moment after Ward sank two three-pointers back to back. With the full house of fans on the edge of their seats, the Gee-Gees came within four points of the Thunderwolves in the final minute, but just couldn’t quite make the comeback.
“It wasn’t our best game today,” said Head Coach Dave DeAveiro, “We struggled as a group today. We had defensive breakdowns [and] turned the ball over way too many times.”
It was a disappointing finish for fifth-year players Donnie Gibson (Kingston, Ont.) and Gibson-Bascombe whose university careers and time as a Gee-Gee ended with this afternoon’s loss.
Ward led the Gee-Gees with 29 points and 9 rebounds, with Gibson-Bascombe contributing 16 points and 10 rebounds. Gibson went perfect from behind the arc, also sinking 16 points for the Gee-Gees.
The Gee-Gees season is officially finished with tonight’s loss but stay tuned for Gee-Gees news throughout the spring and summer.