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Moving Forward: Home Weekend

Thursday January 23, 2014
Richard A. Whittaker

The 12-2 uOttawa Gee-Gees men’s basketball team will return home this weekend as they will take on the York Lions on Friday followed by the Queen’s Gaels on Saturday, two teams they have yet to face this season.

The no. 2 Gee-Gees will be looking to get back on track after suffering a disappointing loss against their nemesis, the Carleton Ravens during the MBNA Capital Hoops Classic on Tuesday.  They were held to a season low 58 points in the game and will be eager to put the loss well behind them Friday night when they return to the court against York University.

“We’re moving forward - we are tougher than we let show on Tuesday night. With that said, we will use it as motivation to show up even stronger next time when it counts,” said point guard Mike L’Africain. “We are eager as always for this weekend. We love taking on new challenges and bouncing back is something we’re notorious for so I’m excited to see my teammates as well as myself get better and better for the bigger stage.”

Despite the loss against the Ravens, the Gee-Gees are still enjoying one of their most successful and productive seasons in school history. They are ranked in the top ten in nearly every major offensive statistical category, most notably second in points with 1286 on the season. The team also holds a 23-2 record versus CIS opponents if factoring in a perfect 8-0 pre-season and is ranked no. 2 in the country for a sixth consecutive week

The Lions are coming off a nail biting 86-85 loss to the 10-4 Laurentian Voyageurs in which guard Richard Iheadindu recorded 19 points and shot 3-6 from beyond the arc. York has managed to post a respectable 8-6 record this season, an impressive achievement for a team with 10 freshmen and only one fifth-year senior. Third-years, Ryan Ejim and Iheadindu have been key contributors for the Lions, both averaging around 15 points per game.

On the second night of the weekend uOttawa will face the Queen’s University Gaels. A Gee-Gees-Gaels matchup has always seemed to be entertaining throughout the years however Queen’s has struggled as of late, dropping four of their last five contests. Nonetheless, they still hold an even 7-7 record and possess Greg Faulkner, one of the league’s most dominant scorers.

"Anytime you play an emotional game like Capital Hoops, it's always tough to play the next one. Win or lose. It's not only physically draining but emotionally. But it's a great test for our guys. We are still exactly where we want to be and now we have to take care of business this weekend," said head coach James Derouin. "York is extremely athletic and Queen’s executes as well as anyone in the OUA. Both teams that are getting stronger and we need to be prepared for both."

"Personally I would like to thank all of the fans that came out to Capital Hoops. It was a great event and the support was fantastic. We’re hoping to see the fans back out this weekend as there are only five home games left this season," said Derouin. 

Both games this weekend will be available via free online broadcast at SSN Canada at 8 p.m. for those unable to attend the games in person.