The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team captured the Rod and Joan Shoveller Memorial Tournament championship with an 83-62 win over the host Dalhousie Tigers on Sunday afternoon. It marks the sixth consecutive CIS tournament win for the no. 2 ranked team, but the first ever at the Shoveller. Third-year Caleb Agada was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament and scored a team high 17 points in the final.
The win over the Atlantic University Sport leaders sends Ottawa into its upcoming match up with the Carleton Ravens with a 17-0 overall record against CIS opponents and tuned up after the month-long exam break. Ottawa will host the Ravens at Montpetit Hall on Saturday, January 10 at 7 p.m. with tickets available online.
“Overall I’m very pleased with the weekend,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. “As always the Halifax basketball community was an amazing host. Our guys played well and I’m hoping this weekend will springboard us into a tough second semester in the OUA.”
Ottawa jumped on the Tigers early with strong defence while electric ball movement on the other end gave Ottawa a plethora of open shots to open a 21-13 lead after ten minutes. After a slower paced second quarter, Ottawa held a 41-25 halftime lead thanks to a flurry of five points in the final minute.
Dalhousie sought to punish Ottawa inside, mixing in the occasional three-ball, and were successful on the offensive glass in the first half. However, a Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue dunk to open the second half sparked a strong third quarter which saw the Gee-Gees open up a 24 point lead, deflating the Tigers.
Johnny Berhanemeskel, who finished the game with 15 points in 23 minutes, punctuated the third with a long transition two-pointer at the buzzer. Ottawa extended its lead to 30 points for much of the fourth quarter, cruising to the victory.
Tigers forward Kashrell Lawrence matched Agada’s game-high with 17 points.
Mike L’Africain was named a tournament all-star, alongside Ritchie Kanza-Mata and Jarred Reid of Dalhousie, Vincent Dufort of the third place McGill, and St. FX’s Julius Antoine.
Ottawa was making its seventh appearance at the Shoveller tourney, which began in 1992-93.