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Gee-Gees unable to shut down Voyageur offence

Saturday January 28, 2012

Men’s Basketball (10-6 OUA)
Hosted Laurentian (8-8 OUA) on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. (SSN Canada)

  1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
uOttawa 23 25 18 14 80
Laurentian 29 16 21 24 90

uOttawa – Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue 19 points, 8 rebounds; Johnny
Berhanemeskel 14 points, 4 rebounds
Laurentian – Manny Pasquale 31 points, 2 rebounds; 23 points, 3 rebounds

In a much-anticipated match-up, the Gee-Gees men’s basketball team
were unable to respond to a powerful Laurentian offence down the final
stretch, falling 90-80 to the Voyageurs Friday evening at Montpetit

With the loss, the Garnet and Grey fall to 10-6 in the OUA, while the
Voyageurs even their record to 8-8 and extend their winning streak to
six games.

It was no question coming into this game that the Gee-Gees would have
to successfully shut-down Laurentian’s Pasquale brothers – notably
third-year point-guard, Manny Pasquale – who leads the CIS in
points per game with 25.1. However, with a slow start defensively for
the Garnet and Grey, the Voyageurs were able find their pace early:
“Our defence was disappointing I thought, especially in the first
quarter,” explained Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. “They
[Laurentian] are an adrenaline team and once they get in a rhythm
they’re tough to beat. We came out in the first quarter and played no
defence; they got 29 points and that really got them into a rhythm
early and that’s not what we wanted to establish tonight.”

Nonetheless, the Gee-Gees fought back in the second quarter to
outscore the Voyageurs 25-16 and hold a three point lead heading
into half-time, thanks to a final bucket under the net by uOttawa’s
third-year forward Ryan Malcolm-Campbell (Mississauga, Ont.).

In the third quarter, it was basket for basket as both teams fought to
take control of the game. Despite their strong efforts, neither team
would get ahead by more than a couple points, and the game was
tied 66-66 going into the final stretch.

The fourth quarter proved to be just as intense. However, as the
minutes passed, the Voyageurs slowly started to take the lead.
With 34 seconds left in the game, Laurentian’s Manny Pasquale
drained a three pointer to set the gap to 10 points and, despite an
effort by the Gee-Gees to gain a stop and regain possession, the
Voyageurs would take the win, 90-80.

“I wanted to get a stop and try to get the ball back, but being down
seven points – and with a point spread differential – I wasn’t going
to try and put them on the line to try and slow the game down, because
they are a good free-throw shooting team,” explained Derouin. “They
hit two or three crazy shots down the stretch. And the balance of easy
shots that we missed and the impossible ones that they hit, it just
wasn’t in the cards tonight, hats off to some of the shots they hit,
they were unbelievable.”

Gee-Gees second-year forward Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue (Gatineau, Qué.)
put in a solid effort for the Garnet and Grey, leading the team in
points and rebounds with 19 and 8, respectively.

The Gee-Gees will look to regroup and come back focused for their next
opponent, the York Lions, tomorrow evening, January 28, at 8:00 p.m.
at Montpetit Hall (SSN Canada)

“We knew they [Laurentian] were coming off a five consecutive wins, so
they were going to be on a hot streak,” noted first-year forward Vikas
Gill (Stittsville, Ont.). “We knew we had to do it defensively and we
just didn’t get it done.  But we know we can do it defensively, we’ve
done it before – we held Carleton to 74 points – so it just has to be
our effort, we have to come out focused tomorrow [against York] and
that’s basically it. ”