In their toughest test to date, the CIS no. 2 uOttawa Gee-Gees men’s basketball team continued their dominance and handed the no. 3 Ryerson Rams their first loss in convincing fashion on Friday night. A close game between two of the country’s best turned into a display of the Gee-Gees’ scoring depth and defensive ability. When, on any given night, the Gee-Gees could simply out gun their opponents on the offensive end, they used defence to make a very high scoring team look average, posting a 93-64 win.
“That’s a big win, our guys have to feel good about themselves,” said head coach James Derouin. “I thought our defence was the difference tonight, really. I was thrilled with our defence. A nine-point quarter and an 11-point quarter, and 64 points on the game, that’s almost 30 points below their average. Our guys were locked in.”
An 8-2 run in the middle of the second quarter gave the Gee-Gees some breathing room after the opening frame saw the lead change six times and the score tied on seven occasions.
As the Gee-Gees showed off their ability to penetrate and hit shots from close range, not to mention hit from the perimeter, they dared Ryerson to keep up. Another run 9-0 run helped the Gee-Gees carry a 44 - 31 lead into halftime. That run was made possible mostly because of a number of second chances when uOttawa was able to crash in and secure the ball off missed shots. Their 14 points gained off turnovers also made an impact.
It was more of the same in the second half. The Gee-Gees continued to attack the Rams and built up a 23-point lead by the seven minute mark of the third quarter. uOttawa would seal it in the fourth, outscoring Ryerson 19-11 in the final frame.
“I think we were just really focused and ready for the game tonight,” said fifth-year forward Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue, who eclipsed the 400 career rebound mark on the night putting him 11th all-time in program history. “It was our first real tough opponent and our biggest game before Christmas so we knew we had to get the job done.”
Caleb Agada had another sensational game for the Gee-Gees leading all scorers with 21 points. Agada also led Ottawa in rebounding with eight, and added four assists. Johnny Berhanemeskel wasn’t far behind with 18, while Mike L’Africain hit five treys to finish with 15 points and five assists.
Derouin praised the job Agada and Mehdi Tihani did in particular defending Ryerson’s most dangerous player, Jahmal Jones, whom they held to 12 points. Other scorers for the Rams were Kadeem Green also with 12 points and Aaron Best with 11.
“Now we have to come out and take care of business tomorrow,” said Derouin. “But I think this group understands that we still have work to do. I know that sounds cliche, but this is a tough league when there’s Carleton and we’ll see Ryerson again. So we’ve still got a long way to go but hopefully I can keep their heads at a point where they still understand there’s work left to do.”
Tomorrow’s game against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues will tip off at 8 pm in Montpetit Hall and will be the Gee-Gees’ final game regular season game before January.
Box Score 1 2 3 4 F
uOttawa 22 22 30 19 93
Ryerson 22 9 22 11 64