Men’s basketball (6-8 OUA)
Hosted Laurentian (6-9 OUA) on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. at Montpetit Hall.
Johnny Berhanemeskel 18 points, 5 rebounds, Louis Gauthier 16 points, 5 rebounds - uOttawa
Mike Hull 24 points, 10 rebounds; Manny Pasquale 19 points, 3 rebounds - Laurentian
It was a huge comeback win for the Gee-Gees at Montpetit Hall tonight as they ousted Laurentian 87-84 in their typical last-minute fashion.
The Gee-Gees came flying out of the gate into the first quarter, opening up to an early 12 point lead. The Voyageurs would push back to tie it up and only a late three-pointer by third-year guard Warren Ward, London, Ont., would give the Gee-Gees a three point lead after ten minutes. Laurentian held a slim lead through much of the second and were up by five at half.
It was an elusive lead dangled just out of reach of the Gee-Gee, as they trailed Laurentian by just a few baskets for much of the second half. But the perseverance and determination of the Gee-Gees would pay off as they would steal the lead at just the right moment in the last two minutes. A few power defensive stops, and the Gee-Gees would capture their much sought after victory.
First-year guard Johnny Berhanemeskel, Ottawa, Ont., led the Gee-Gees in scoring with 18 points, though there were five Gee-Gees in the double digits for points. First-year point guard Yacob Issayas, Vancouver, B.C, was the fourth quarter hero for the Gee-Gees, stacking on 11 points in the final frame and going three for four from behind the arc.
“He won the game for us,” said head coach James Derouin of Issayas’ performance, “He’s in the same mold as Johnny, does everything right. He and Johnny are in here shooting all the time. He [Issayas] just goes to work [and] it’s great to see him have success. There’re stories like this [and] it just shows if you work your butt off, it pays off in the end.”
Issayas commented after the game that it’s about “just being ready. My name is called [and] I have to be ready - fourth quarter, first quarter, it doesn’t matter. I’m happy we got the win, because if we lost it wouldn’t have meant anything.”
“In the end I thought we were the fresher team,” said Derouin, “It’s a great comeback, and they remained poised; just an overall great win for us. These guys are learning,” continued Derouin, “It’s hard, I know, for the fans and people that support us to be patient, but it’s coming.”
The Gee-Gees will now have a few days to prepare to face cross-town rivals Carleton in the annual Capital Hoops Classic on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. at Scotiabank Place. Gee-Gees fans, make sure to buy your tickets to this competitive match-up!