Guillaume Pepin lays the ball in the hoop
Guillaume Pepin lays the ball in. Image: Bardia Boomer/Fulcrum.
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Otoo lead the Gee-Gees with 22 points on the board

Friday night gave Gee-Gees and Ravens fans quite the thriller.

The 2023 Capital Hoops Classic 8 P.M. game matched up two U Sports men’s basketball titans in the University of Ottawa (14-3), and their cross-town rivals the Carleton Ravens (13-4).

TD Place was packed with fans from both sides of the Rideau Canal, and tensions were high as the teams met for the first time this season.

The Gee-Gees were quick to open up scoring as Kevin Otoo snuck in the paint to meet a perfect pass from Josh Inkumsah.

Carleton struggled to get past the big men wearing garnet and grey, until veteran point guard, Aiden Warnholtz, put in a jumper.

As you’d expect any big game to be, it was tight; it was back and forth; and it was intense.

Cole Newton was the first player to have a shot fall from behind the arch, but Warnholtz wasted no time when responding, making it 13-9 for the bad guys.

Otoo was given a wide open three-point opportunity and did not waste, bringing the game within one.

The Ravens were unable to make use of their next posession, throwing the ball away and letting Newton drop another three ball over their heads.

By the end of the quarter, the Gees had earned themselves a 17-13 lead.

In the second, Carleton took complete control to start things off. Elliot Bailey and Warnholtz combined for 10 consecutive points to take the lead 23-17.

Otoo put up his second three-pointer in attempt to shift the momentum. For a moment, it worked. The Gees brought it back to a one point game, and Ravens called a timeout with 4:48 left before half-time.

“I just try to play my role and do what I do best… When I start to score my teammates feed off my energy,” Otoo said.

Again, the game turned into exactly what you’d expect, a physical back and forth matchup.

Of course, the Gee-Gees and Ravens love drama; and closed out the quarter at 32-31 in favour of the Gees.

For the most part, the third quarter belonged to the Ravens. Connor Vreeken and Warnholtz went to work, building a 48-39 point lead for Carleton.

The U of O struggled to close the gap as nothing seemed to fall their way: unlucky bounces off the rim, a lack of offensive rebounds, and an unfortunate Grant Shephard block. The Gees were down 42-50 with ten more minutes to work with.

Because the fourth quarter always has to be outrageously exciting, Vreeken hit a shot from the three-point line, and a group of Gee-Gees in Stajic, Otoo, Newton and Guillaume Pepin followed suit.

Within minutes, the Gees were back in the game.

57-54 for the Ravens. 5:41 to go.

The U of O attempted to chip away at the Carleton lead, Stajic hammering another three-pointer. Unfortunately, the Gees were struggling to finish from inside the arch, and it was costing them possessions.

On the other hand, everything seemed to be falling for the Ravens. The Gees took a timeout with 67-61 on the scoreboard.

Coming out of the timeout, you might expect some magic to happen. Instead, we saw the Gee-Gees miss five shots without a single Carleton defensive rebound. Otoo put up the final attempt before clock winded down, the buzzer went, and the Carleton section erupted in celebration.

Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin spoke about the Gees shooting.

“My philosophy is that if you’re open and your feet are set then those are the shots you have to take no matter what, but I think what gets lost in the sauce a little bit is that we’re also not converting from two,” Derouin said.

The finished the game with 22-73 on field goal attempts and 10-36 on three-point attempts.

With the 67-61 Gee-Gees loss, both them and the Ravens move to 14-4, matching Lakehead and Brock from the OUA Central.

The OUA is absolutely wild right now, with various teams still within reach of the top spot. The Gees have four games left on the regular season schedule and they have the opportunity to knock down Queen’s on Sunday.

The U of O and Carleton will meet again on Feb. 15 at Ravens Nest to finish up the regular season.


  • After spending four years with the Fulcrum’s sports section, Jasmine has taken her knowledge and experience to the EIC role. Outside of the Fulcrum, Jasmine captains the Gee-Gees women’s ultimate team and represents Ottawa’s competitive scene on Stella. If she’s not creating content for the Fulcrum or on the field, you can find her streaming on Twitch.