Despite the season-ending loss, there’s hope in young rising stars for the Gees. Photo: Dasser Kamran.
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U of O men’s basketball season cut short with round two defeat

The University of Ottawa’s men’s basketball team started their playoff run on Wednesday, Feb. 20. While they would emerge with a win in their first game, the season came to an end the following Saturday in a round two loss to the Ryerson Rams.

The 84–61 loss on the road versus Ryerson means the Gees will not move onto the next round of the OUA Wilson Cup playoffs.

This marks an early exit to a fairly solid season for the U of O, who went 15–8 in regular season play, going 1–1 in the postseason.

The first game versus the York Lions saw some promising play from the Gees, although the graduating seniors were unaware at the time that it would be their final games played on home court.

In the regular season, the teams had met twice. In their first match-up, the Gee-Gees came away with a 92–58 win. In their most recent meeting on Feb. 9, York managed to get the edge on the U of O and win 78–67.

“That loss certainly had us motivated, and I thought we came out ready,” Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin said.

Despite it being the last game on home court for Brandon Robinson, Mackenzie Morrison, and Andrew DeGroot—it was the young players who really shone in this one.

Rookie Guillaume Pépin led the team with 21 points, followed closely by three-point specialist Gage Sabean with 20.

Pépin, Sabean, Kevin Civil, and Morrison each contributed three-pointers in the 92-77 victory.

“It felt good to play well and get some revenge against these guys,” Robinson said.

In the next game, while the Gees’ offence was once again fairly strong, it was defence that had a tough time stopping the high-flying Rams. Jayden Frederick and Tanor Ngom both had 22-point games, while Myles Charvis followed up close behind with 16 of his own.

It was enough to burn the Gees out late in the game despite a tight first half. While Sabean again had a great night offensively for his team, scoring 17 points largely off five three-point conversions, it was not enough. The Rams took the game 84-61.

While 2018-19 may be over, the future does look bright for the young Gees team between rising stars like Pépin and killers like Sabean. In the meantime, they’ll prepare for the 2019-20 season beginning next fall.