The no. 1 ranked Gee-Gees men’s basketball team got the result it was seeking in a matchup against no. 7 ranked Calgary, topping the Dinos 94-78 at the Tournoi Rouge et Or des Fêtes in Quebec City. Caleb Agada was a major player in the victory, scoring 28 points along with eight rebounds and five assists to help bring Ottawa’s overall record against CIS teams to 16-2 this season.
The game was highlighted by the matchup between Agada and Calgary’s fourth-year guard Thomas Cooper. Cooper sits third in the CIS scoring race with 26.5 points per game in the regular season and notched 26 points on Tuesday.
“He’s tough, but ultimately I thought we wore him down with multiple bodies and we were able to shut him down in the fourth,” commented Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin on Cooper. “He has the ball in his hands every possession; he had a good battle with Caleb and it was fun to watch.”
Sophomore Mackenzie Morrison contributed to Ottawa’s solid three-point shooting in the game, making 4-of-5 from outside to count 12 points along with a steal and a block in his 16 minutes off the bench. The Gee-Gees were 15-31 as a team from long distance while Calgary stayed inside, attempting just 13 treys.
Ottawa opened up a 53-39 lead over the course of the first half, led by 21 points from Agada to that point. The lead was cut to four early in the third quarter, prompting Derouin to send Morrison and Brandon Robinson into the game. “Mackenzie’s shots off the bench gave us separation at a critical point in the third quarter,” said Derouin. “It’s been a tough road for him, returning from his shoulder injury, so I’m happy to see him contribute and provide us with another weapon.”
The win came one day after Ottawa was upset by the tournament hosts by an 87-77 score on Monday.
“We looked more comfortable today, more ourselves,” noted Derouin. “We got back our balance between the inside and outside – the posts did some good things today to open up the outside.” Ottawa’s post trio notched 24 points against Calgary, led by 13 from Nathan McCarthy.
“We had some great momentum built up at the end of November and the break halted that. I hope the loss yesterday can spring us forward in the same way that the McGill [exhibition] game did so we can build back up. Today I saw signs that it did – I thought we bounced back well,” concluded Derouin.
The Gee-Gees will conclude play at the tournament on Wednesday afternoon, taking on the UNB Varsity Reds at 3:30 p.m.