The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team will begin the long and daunting playoff road to a CIS championship this weekend by hosting an OUA quarter-final matchup against the Ryerson Rams at Montpetit Hall. The Saturday night game will be the third straight year that the rivals meet with a trip to the OUA Final Four on the line.
Ticket information is available on the Gee-Gees buy tickets page.
The Gee-Gees have had some resting time this week as their second place OUA East finish granted them a bye to this weekend’s decisive contest, while third-place Ryerson had the additional hurdle of dusting Queen’s by an 86-76 score on Wednesday night in order to advance. Ryerson will be anxious to upset the Gee-Gees after losing both regular season games against the garnet and grey, as well as last season’s playoff tilt.
Fourth-year guard Jahmal Jones led the way in scoring with 20 points and 7 assists against Queen’s, and was the Rams’ top scorer all season with an average of 19.1 points per game. Ottawa was able to control Jones during the regular season, holding him to 16 and 13-point performances.
Meanwhile, uOttawa is coming off, arguably, the most successful regular season in school history and is looking to carry their success over to the post-season. uOttawa will be going into the post-season healthy and is expected to rely on many players for offence as has been the case all season long. Johnny Berhanemeskel, who finished the regular season averaging 20.5 points per game, will continue to play a major role.
"We know that this is the only game to be thinking about right now and they’re going to be fired up. So we definitely can't look past this game, especially with single game elimination and both teams knowing each other's stuff just makes it that much more intense," commented Berhanemeskel who received the uOttawa Dejardins athlete of the week award for his role in last weekend’s two victories against Laurentian and Algoma.
Other Gee-Gees have had standout performances in playoffs past, and eyes will be on Caleb Agada this post-season as he impressed Gee-Gees nation last year as a rookie with his relentless pursuit of the ball and his willingness to play in tough areas down the stretch. Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue recorded his career high in points, 31, in last season’s playoff tilt against the Rams, and Terry Thomas dropped 39 points in a CIS Final 8 game while with the St. Francis-Xavier University X-men.
The winner of Saturday’s game advances to the OUA Final Four which will be held at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre, February 28-March 1.
The game will tip off at 8 p.m. on Saturday evening and is the last game played at Monpetit Hall this season. The contest will also be broadcast online at SSN Canada.