The no. 1 ranked Gee-Gees men’s basketball team showed off its ability to lock down defensively in an 87-53 home court win over the Windsor Lancers on Friday night. The win moves Ottawa’s regular season record to 6-0 while Windsor falls to 4-2.
After a tight first quarter, Ottawa’s three-point shooting and ball movement rocketed the garnet and grey to a 31-15 advantage midway through the second. Windsor continued to drive the paint on offence, but the Gee-Gees had three men inside to protect the rim and were quick to recover to the outside. That meant the Lancers could muster just five points in the second frame, and the visitors trailed 37-18 at half time.
A pair of threes from Rocca had Windsor fired up early in the third quarter. Ottawa responded with a dunk by Maracle and a trey from Agada to regain the momentum and a 20-point lead.
While the Gee-Gees calmly knocked down 17 three-pointers in the game, led by four each from Matt Plunkett and Agada, Ottawa’s post play continues to add new depth. Nathan McCarthy showed his inside passing skills as well as a nasty left-handed hook shot, and was relieved by Maracle’s active rebounding. Both players, along with Noel Jones, were key to the Gee-Gees’ lock-down defensive effort.
“They established the paint,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin of his three post players. “I just rotate them in... they all work hard and we really like what we have. When we’re able to shoot the ball well and defend, it looks pretty good.”
Also crucial was the work of Agada and Mehdi Tihani to stop Windsor’s leading scorer, Alex Campbell. The guard was held to 1-10 from the field and finished the game with seven points. Mike Rocca led Windsor with 10 points.
“This year the focus is different. We’re not putting up 100 points every night, and the guys understand that defence is going to be key,” explained Derouin. “This may have been the best defensive performance in my time here, against a good team.”
Ottawa had five players finish in double-digit scoring, paced by 17 points from Caleb Agada, who added 12 defensive rebounds for his fourth double-double of the regular season. Plunkett finished with 16 points as did Brandon Robinson, both off the bench.