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Victory at Voyageurs sends Ottawa into playoffs

Saturday February 27, 2016
Richard A. Whittaker

The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team closed out the regular season with a 102-79 victory over the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ont., on Saturday night. Ottawa concludes the season with a 17-2 record while Laurentian sits at 5-14. Both teams qualify for the OUA playoffs, which are set to begin on March 2.

Ottawa will receive a bye for the opening round of the playoffs, and as the no. 2 ranked team in the conference’s overall RPI standings will host a quarter-final game at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 5.

Saturday’s contest saw the Voyageurs push Ottawa through the first half, with the score knotted at 40-40 with two minutes left before halftime. The Gee-Gees gained momentum in the third quarter, going on a 13-3 run to turn the tide. The lead carried over into the fourth quarter as Ottawa drained six three-pointers in the final frame.

Nathan McCarthy was crucial to Ottawa’s success at both ends in the third quarter, and tallied a season high of 18 points alongside six rebounds and two blocks. McCarthy finishes the regular season with the OUA lead in blocks with 39, which also ranks second in the CIS.

 “Nathan was solid all weekend,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. "He set the tone with some big defensive rebounds and was going after it on the offensive glass. His rim protection is crucial for our defensive system - we can funnel people in to him and he does a great job of staying up straight. His blocks ignited our game in the second half tonight, and he was great all season."

Caleb Agada led the squad with 23 points, Mike L’Africain dropped 22. Second-year wing Brandon Robinson also logged a career-high with 18 points off the bench.

"Friday he had some really good looks and just didn’t make them," noted Derouin on Robinson. "Tonight he was aggressive and stepped into his shot.  He was very good all week in practice and it was good to see that pay off." 

For Laurentian, it was Anthony Iacoe connecting on 5-of-8 from downtown to lead his team with 23 points.