Kicking off the 2017 Jack Donohue Tournament, the Gee-Gees men’s basketball team took down the Concordia Stingers 74-64 at Montpetit Hall on Friday afternoon.
With a young lineup, the team navigated the ups and downs of the game, however, most importantly they rallied when needed to close out the win.
Led by Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles’ 21 points, the Gee-Gees offensive attack was not quite as potent in recent games, but holding the typically high-scoring Stingers to 64 points proved the defence is hard at work.
“We came out strong again, but we’re having a hard time maintaining it,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. “Luckily Mac [Morrison] came in for the second half and I think he won the game for us.”
Morrison finished with nine points, all of which came at pivotal moments in the game; a solid rebounding performance also calmed the waters for his team.
“We have a lot of new guys, so this early in the season our highs can be pretty high and our lows can be low,” said Morrison, in his fourth-year with the team.
He finds comfort in his veteran role this season, being a calming force on offence and bringing aggression and energy on the other end of the floor.
“I just have to come in and bounce around. I have to use my athleticism, talk, and be an energy guy. It’s a fun role to have.”
The team looks forward to a matchup with an up-and-coming Laurier Golden Hawks team on Sunday. Laurier is led by former long-time Gee-Gees assistant coach Justin Serresse, who took over as head coach last season.
“Hopefully we can get a better performance [on Sunday],” said Derouin. “Our bench and our depth is something we take a lot of pride in. We still have a long way to go in growing and getting used to each other, but it’s promising that we’re still getting wins through the process.”
The win gives the Gee-Gees a 5-0 record against U SPORTS competition this pre-season. After going 3-1 against NCAA competition in the summer, the team is beginning to click early to start the year.
Laurier and Concordia are the lone game on Saturday, with tipoff at 2 p.m. The Gee-Gees and the Golden Hawks close out the tournament at 2 p.m. on Sunday.