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Ottawa overcomes slow start to bury Lions

Saturday January 30, 2016
Gee-Gees in action
Richard A. Whittaker

The no. 2 ranked Gee-Gees men’s basketball team leaned on Mike L’Africain once more in a 91-61 win over the visiting York Lions on Saturday night. The fifth-year point guard had his second straight big scoring night, providing a game-high 31 as Ottawa earned its eleventh win of the regular season.

L’African provided 15 of Ottawa’s first 30 points, which was where the team sat midway through the second quarter. His pull-up three-pointer during a scoring drought for both teams put Ottawa ahead 37-34 at half time.

The Gee-Gees ran away with the third quarter, pouring in 31 points while limiting York to 13. That was fuelled by five three-pointers with two apiece from Plunkett and L’Africain. The Ottawa lead stretched to 30 midway through the fourth quarter. All this came after a messy start for the garnet and grey. The offensive setup lacked focus, leading to turnovers while Tommy Hobbs sunk a quick 10 points to help the Lions establish a 21-9 advantage. Hobbs finished with 14 points to lead the Lions.

Brody Maracle was an early answer for Ottawa, chipping away with inside baskets. Matt Plunkett also contributed a trey along with strong defensive rebounding and passing. With Hobbs on the bench Ottawa tied the game up at 23-23.

“When the starters are slow it’s kind of mine and Plunkett’s job to come in, provide a spark, and change the momentum,” explained Maracle, who finished the game with nine points and five rebounds on 4-5 shooting. “The plan in the second half was just to stop the offensive rebounds, and I think we took care of the box outs.”

Indeed, Ottawa won the overall rebounding matchup by a 39-32 margin but allowed 10 offensive rebounds in the first half. The Lions secured just three the rest of the way.

The Gee-Gees head into the MBNA Capital Hoops Classic with an 11-1 record. For a full event information, including Canadian Tire Centre policies regarding bags and intoxication, please visit the Capital Hoops Information page.