The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team ground out a tough 70-59 win over the Nipissing Lakers at Montpetit Hall on Saturday night.
In the first quarter, the teams battled to a tie, both having struggles getting started offensively. The Lakers shot 33.3 per cent from the field, bested only barely by the Gee-Gees’ 35.3 per cent.
The Lakers’ Marvin Lewis had seven points in the first frame, however after the Gee-Gees tightened up on defence, he was held scoreless through the remainder of the half. The Ottawa offence showed signs of life in the second frame, as the team carried a 34-23 lead into the locker room.
A huge run got the second half started for the Gee-Gees, Nipissing was left without answer as Ottawa opened a 20-point lead, highlighted by a transition slam from Brody Maracle. Later in the third, the Lakers took advantage of their opponent’s foul troubles, slowing the Gee-Gees’ attack, however the Ottawa lead remained at 16 points.
The Gee-Gees did enough to put the game away in the final frame, in the final minutes Nipissing was able to bring the score closer, but the game was long in hand.
Despite only registering two points in his first half of basketball in 2018, Pierre-Charles certainly made his presence felt in the second half. The fifth-year forward registered 11 points and four rebounds to close the game, and after all was said and done, Pierre-Charles finished with a team high 13 points, nine rebounds, one assist, and one block.
“It’s tough because we haven’t consistently had our full roster this season,” said Pierre-Charles. “This is our first game all back together, so I think we responded well to the adjustments. We had a slow start which wasn’t expected, but comprehended. We have a good team and now with a full roster, I’m excited to see what we can do.”
Maracle was one of four Gee-Gees in double figures, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Sean Stoqua and Kenny Jean-Louis also had key contributions, scoring 11 and 10 points respectively.
“We knew that they’re a very athletic defensive team, I knew it was going to be a grind,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin.
“We have a big, big game tomorrow night so we had to sub in some guys that were cold later in the game. When you play back-to-backs you have to do your best to manage the minutes. Overall, our defence was excellent again tonight, which gave us the chance to win.”
On Saturday, the Gee-Gees have a huge matchup with the U SPORTS seventh-ranked Laurentian Voyageurs, coming off of a close four-point loss to top-ranked Carleton. The game will undoubtedly be a battle, with the victor holding possession of second place in the OUA East.
“Tomorrow’s a statement game, we’ve earned some respect and lost some respect, but that is completely on us,” said Pierre-Charles. “We should win this game tomorrow, I think we’re the better team, so we just have to come out and play that way.”
Tip-off for the annual Shoot for the Cure game against Laurentian is set for 8 p.m. at Montpetit Hall, with the game streaming live on OUA.tv.