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Dethroned Gee-Gees looking to respond

Thursday February 12, 2015
Mike L'Africain in action.
Richard Whittaker

After suffering what was a visibly upsetting loss to their cross town foes in the MNBA Capital Hoops Classic last weekend the Gee-Gees (14-1) will now be looking to bounce back as they take to the road this weekend. They will be facing the York Lions on Friday night followed by a match-up versus the Queen’s Gaels on Saturday.

Last weekend’s loss resulted in the Gee-Gees dropping back down to the no. 2 national ranking while the Ravens re-took the top spot. Nonetheless, uOttawa still stands first in the OUA North and will hold on to top spot if they continue to win games heading into the final stretch of the season.

“It is extremely important that we bounce back well this weekend. We still hold control of our own destiny in order to finish first in the OUA. The Carleton game exposed some things about our team that we knew we needed to work on. We have had a good week of focused practice and I expect us to be ready this weekend,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin on Wednesday afternoon.

The team will have its first chance to bounce back on Friday against the York Lions (9-7) who have had a solid season so far and are currently riding a two game winning streak. Nick Tufegdzich has been the catalyst for the squad averaging 21.1 points per game while pulling down 10.7 rebounds per game, good for second in the nation.

The Gee-Gees will have their starting point guard back for a second straight game however and will be looking to get the offence right back on track. Mehdi Tihani fared well filling in for L’Africain in the starting lineup, but will be utilized more for his all-round abilities back in his sixth man role.

“It felt great to be back out there last weekend and running around. I missed it way too much. I wish I hadn't used the tape on my thumb because it felt like it held me back at times,” said L’Africain who returned to play last weekend after missing five games with a hand injury. “We need to consistently play hard and do what we do well on the court. When we share the basketball and work hard, we are undeniable.”

uOttawa’s second test of the weekend will be against the Queen’s University Gaels (5-10) who have struggled this season, with their most recent loss being a 71-49 blow out to McMaster. Greg Faulkner will be in his usual form however as he averages 20.7 points on a nightly basis. Last time these teams met uOttawa came out with the 103-76 victory on the road.

Both games will be available via online broadcast at at 8 p.m. following the women’s games.