Warren Ward set a new career high scoring 43 points to lead the Gee-Gees in a comeback win over the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks. The 94-83 victory is the fifth in a row as Ottawa now holds a record of 6-1 to begin the season – the best start for the team since the 2008-09 season.
The game was in question right up until the final minutes, as Laurier led from when the score was 5-4 until just over a minute into the fourth quarter, and by as much as 16 thanks to red hot shooting in the opening quarter. It was Ward who gave Ottawa the lead at 70-68, part of a stretch at the opening of the fourth quarter when Ward scored eight straight field goals for the Gee-Gees.
The fifth year forward was showcasing all of his offensive weapons, scoring by backing down his man in the post, attacking the rim for lay-ins, and shooting the three. On the night he was 18-of-35 from the floor, including 2-of-8 from long range and adding 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Down the stretch however, Ward was on fire; he shot 9-for-12 in the fourth quarter and also chipped in two assists late on baskets by Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue and Ryan Evans.
With Ward doing the work on offence, the Gee-Gees put out a defensive lineup to shut down the Hawks. Caleb Agada came onto the floor to stop the dangerous William Coulthard at the point, while Ryan Evans, Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue, and Matt Plunkett shut down the paint. Agada also provided a highlight on the offensive end, skying over the Laurier post players to punctuate the end of the third quarter with a one-handed putback jam which brought the Gee-Gee bench to its feet.
“Caleb brings us rebounding, energy, and defence,” said head coach James Derouin. “He had a big seven points for us tonight as well. We have so many guys on this team that can do different things on different nights – our depth absolutely helped us in the fourth quarter tonight. We went with a bigger lineup down the stretch and it paid off.”
Derouin also noted that Ward started to take over after Laurier’s leading scorer, Maxwell Allin, picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter. Allin had been tasked with keeping Ward in check on the defensive end, and Derouin noted the fourth foul, “freed Warren up to just score and not worry about forcing the contact.”
Ward’s previous scoring high, 41, came on February 12, 2011 at Toronto.
The Gee-Gees will put their winning streak on the line Saturday night against the 0-6 Waterloo Warriors.
1 2 3 4 F
Ottawa 17 22 27 28 94
Laurier 27 15 26 15 83