Men’s basketball team recovers just in time with big victory over Queen’s

The University of Ottawa men’s basketball team traveled to Toronto and Kingston to face off against York University and Queen’s University. The Gee-Gees came away with two victories despite a lackluster start to the weekend.

York

On Friday, Feb. 10, the Gees edged out the York Lions ever so slightly by the score of 70–69. The Lions, who hold a 4–14 record, almost caused a huge upset against the nationally third-ranked Gee-Gees.

The first quarter was evidence of things to come in the game. It took a late three-pointer by Adam Presutti to give the Gees a 20–19 advantage going into the second quarter.

The Garnet and Grey looked to take control of the game with a big drive at the end of the quarter, scoring eight points around the one-minute mark.

The Gees took their biggest lead of the game thanks to Gage Sabean’s clutch three-pointer with mere seconds left in the second quarter. The Gees led 39–29 heading into halftime.

After the break, the Lions put on a very solid performance, outscoring the Gees 17–12 in the third quarter to reduce the Gees’ lead to 51–46. Good defensive play and a poor offensive performance led to the Lions making the game increasingly interesting.

Head coach James Derouin was definitely not expecting the last quarter to be as close as it was, with both teams going back and forth throughout the final frame.

The Lions scored 13 points in the final 4:33 of play, but failed to score on a final buzzer beater, and the Gees escaped by the skin of their teeth with a 70–69 win. Presutti hit two key free-throws just before the buzzer beater attempt, an instrumental play to hand the Gees the victory.

Presutti and Jean-Emmanuel Pierre-Charles were key offensively in this Friday match, with 18- and 15-point performances, respectively.

Much of York’s success was generated on the glass as they had a big 39–23 advantage on the boards, which could be a cause of concern for the Gees going into the playoffs.

Queen’s

The Gees responded well to their shaky performance against the Lions with a huge 72–50 win over the Queen’s Golden Gaels on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Matt Plunkett’s hot shooting from behind the line resulted in the Gees taking a 22–17 advantage in the first quarter. The U of O looked like a much better team compared to the day before, holding an eight-point lead with two minutes to go in the period.

The second quarter saw the Gees really take over the contest. Gage Sabean scored 12 points in less than a minute to help the Gees take a 39–27 lead heading into the second half.

The third quarter highlighted the Gees’ defensive power, as the team limited the Gaels to nine points and 23.1 per cent shooting from the field. At the end of the quarter the Garnet and Grey held a convincing 54–36 lead.

The final quarter saw the Gees shoot an impressive 53.3 per cent from the floor and limit the Gaels to just 35.7 per cent on their way to a 18–14 advantage in the quarter, and a 72–50 win.

Overall, this match served as a great response to the Gees’ subpar effort the day before, which is even more impressive considering they were without their top scorer Caleb Agada, who was injured in the game against York.

The Gees were great rebounding the ball with a 46–31 advantage after being hammered on the boards, and Brody Maracle led the Gees with 15 points.

With the playoffs coming up, it’s very encouraging to see that the Gees are still capable of recovering from a bad outing within a 24-hour period.

The Gees’ final two home games will take place on Friday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, Feb. 18 at Montpetit Hall against the University of Toronto and Ryerson University. Tickets can be purchased from the Gee-Gees’ website.