Men’s basketball (15-4 OUA, no. 6 CIS)
Vs. Carleton (18-1 OUA, no. 1 CIS) Saturday February 16, 8 p.m. (SSN Canada)
The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team will host the Carleton Ravens on Saturday night on home court with a chance to move into second place in the OUA East. The Gee-Gees moved up to no. 6 in the CIS Top Ten this week after a thrilling seven-point victory over the no. 8 Ryerson Rams last week, and are looking forward to their second chance to bring down the number one team in the country.
All 200 free student tickets for this game have been given away, so uOttawa students will need to buy a $6 ticket to see the second round of the battle between the two top ten teams.
The Gee-Gees came out on the losing end of a 63-58 decision at the 2013 Capital Hoops Classic, edged out by an acrobatic shot by Phil Scrubb with ten seconds remaining which finally put the game out of reach. Ottawa had lead by six at half time and after falling behind by eleven at one point in the fourth quarter, the Gee-Gees clawed back to within three points by locking down defensively. The uOttawa defence throughout the game was tenacious and quick, and showed that it was capable of disrupting the Ravens’ rhythm.
“I think defensively [Carleton] did what they wanted to for the most part,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin of the Capital Hoops tilt. “Where we’re expecting to see some adjustments from them is on the offensive end.”
The offensive end was the story for both teams in January - neither team shot well at Scotiabank Place. Carleton held the edge with a 34 per cent shooting night compared to Ottawa’s 28 per cent on a night when each team posted their lowest field goal percentage of the season. Back within the familiar confines of Montpetit Hall, fans can expect the Gee-Gees numbers to be back around their average of 46.6 per cent shooting, which ranks third best in the country. But Derouin notes that the shooting “should even out” for both teams, as Carleton tops the CIS with a 47.3 field goal percentage.
“We’re looking for a complete team game,” stated Derouin. “Mehdi [Tihani] and Jordan [Vig] and our role players in general played extremely well at Capital Hoops, and if we can get that again with our shooters making shots it should be another great game.”
The Gee-Gees are 8-1 at Montpetit Hall this season, and have seen the energy in the building rise at key moments like in last week’s vital game against Ryerson. “Last week truly felt like our home gym more than any other game this year – the crowd was awesome,” said Derouin, who hopes to win another for a rowdy crowd on Saturday.
Saturday’s game will be the last regular season home game for Gee-Gees seniors Jordan Vig, Dimitrios Seymour, and Warren Ward.
Ward will finish his regular season career as the second-highest scorer in uOttawa history. He enters the game with 1452 career points which also places him sixteenth in OUA history. Ward also has a slim chance to move ahead of Merv Sabey for third place on the uOttawa all-time rebounding list – he needs fourteen rebounds to pass the seventies star. Ward is just the second player in uOttawa history to amass over 500 rebounds and 1000 points.