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Gee-Gees drop last-second thriller in OUA semi, will play for bronze

Saturday March 4, 2017
Joueur de l'équipe masculine de basketball des Gee-Gees en action.
Greg Mason

In the Wilson Cup semifinal, it was heartbreak at the hands of the Rams that dashed the Gee-Gees’ chance of playing in their first OUA final since 2014. Brandon Robinson had a chance to drive to the hoop for the win with time expiring; his shot was met with resistance from the Rams but did not draw a foul and Ryerson captured a narrow win.

A back-and-forth first half had both teams trading shots. When it seemed the Gee-Gees were going to creep ahead, the Rams were able to storm back to establish a slim one-point lead at the halftime break. Matt Plunkett’s early hot shooting and Caleb Agada flying around the floor paced Ottawa in the early goings. Both seniors had outstanding games, Agada led the team with 24 points and Plunkett chipped in 15 on five three-pointers.

For a moment in the fourth quarter it seemed as though the Gee-Gees could close out the win, however the Rams’ execution and persistence on both ends of the floor guided them to victory. Ammanuel Diressa shot the lights out for Ryerson in the second half, but it was a jumper from Juwon Grannum that sealed the win with 52 seconds remaining.

Diressa was the leading scorer for the Rams, putting up 20 points, and three rebounds, steals, and assists. He will lead his team into a rematch of last year’s Wilson Cup final, against host Carleton.

“The kids played hard, it’s a great game and someone has to win,” said head coach James Derouin. “I didn’t see any contact that warranted a foul. Every coach wants the refs not to call a foul and to let the kids make the plays. They no-called it, Brandon’s gotta make that play and we were one shot short tonight.”

Going forward, the Gee-Gees will take on the Brock Badgers for the OUA Bronze at 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Ravens’ Nest. The teams met one time this season, in December, Ottawa overpowered the Badgers 90-63 at Montpetit Hall. The victor of the game does not receive an automatic bid to the U SPORTS Final 8, however the Gee-Gees have won two consecutive conference bronzes and received the at-large bid.  

“It’s a heartbreaking loss, but we have to recover,” said Derouin. “I hope the voters recognize the work that we’ve done this year and a win tomorrow is good enough to get the wildcard.”