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Gee-Gees clinch second place

Friday February 7, 2014
Richard A. Whittaker

The no.2 ranked Gee-Gees men’s basketball team steadily built a large cushion over the Queen’s Gaels in Kingston on Friday night, cruising to a 103-76 victory. The win ensures Ottawa will finish top two in the OUA East standings and host a second round playoff game on Saturday, February 22.  


Five Gee-Gees finished in double-digits scoring, led by 25 from Terry Thomas. Johnny Berhanemeskel led the charge from three-point land, netting five as part of his 20 points while the team sank a total of 15 treys. Guard Roshane Roberts led the Gaels with 16 points.


Ottawa led by six after the first, 16 at half, and headed into the fourth quarter firmly in control at 80-58. Notably, the bench continued to build the lead in the fourth quarter under the guidance of starter Mike L’Africain who bucketed 10 points with six assists in a quality effort. Moe Ismail finished the night with 11 points to lead the 26 point effort from the reserves.

 “We were in a really good rhythm today offensively. Once our transition game is running like that we are in good shape,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. “Having Mike direct traffic like that puts everyone in a better position to succeed.”

The garnet and grey dominated almost every facet of the game, out-rebounding the Gaels 45-35, committing just 12 turnovers, shooting 47 per cent from the field, and going 18-for-20 from the free throw line.  “For us to win the rebounding battle was a character-builder,” noted Derouin, who was without fourth-year post Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue.


The Gee-Gees opened with excellent transition and quick firing from three-point range, going 7-11 from long range in the early going. A quick start to the second quarter stretched a 27-21 lead to a 35-21 margin. The Gee-Gees offence cooled off briefly, allowing Queen’s back within single digits at 40-31.


However, an alley-oop dunk off a baseline inbounds play and a buzzer-beating trey by Vikas Gill sent Ottawa into the locker room with a 51-35 lead.


The lead ballooned to 68-42 early in the third as the team collapsed into the paint on defence and Queen’s struggled with their outside shots. Ottawa kept the tempo high on offence, taking 74 shots from the field and often flat out beat the Queen’s squad down the floor.


Ottawa moves to 17-2 on the season while Queen’s drops to 9-10. The Gee-Gees complete the road portion of the regular season at York on Saturday night. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on SSN Canada.



                                1              2              3              4              F

Ottawa                 27           24           29           23           103

Queen’s               21           14           23           18           76