Despite some great play, the Gees couldn’t close the gap versus Carleton. Photo: Parker Townes.
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Gee-Gees fall to Ravens for third consecutive year

With the momentum in the Gee-Gees’ favour, the men’s basketball team looked to close off the 2019 Capital Hoops Classic with another win for the U of O.

The Canadian Tire Centre was far from quiet, packed full of spectators representing either side.

The men’s teams had only met once before the event, with the U of O falling 87-69 to the first-place Carleton Ravens.

The first quarter was not an easy one for the Gee-Gees as they struggled to keep up with the fast-paced Ravens team.

Going into the game, the U of O, along with head coach James Derouin, knew the first quarter was something they needed to work on.

“We talked about it going into the game. It happened last time—it happened against Ryerson, and we did it again, so it’s something we’re going to have to figure out,” Derouin said.

Fifth-year guard Brandon Robinson added to his coach’s sentiment.

“We can keep up with them, it’s just a matter of getting that good start offensively and defensively,” Robinson said.

After the opening 10 minutes, the score was 25-7 for the Ravens, but the Gees managed to find the basket more in the second quarter.

After that, it was first-year Guillaume Pépin leading the Gees in scoring with eight points. Gage Sabean contributed seven, six of which came from three-pointers. Calvin Epistola was next, adding six to the score.

Even with the improved performance, the Ravens were still the dominant team, up 44-26 by halftime.

Looking to turn things around in the second half, the Gee-Gees picked it up in the third quarter.

“We started to share the ball a little bit, started to move it, started to attack and kick,” Derouin said. “Sometimes it’s as simple as our shooters made shots.”

Early on, it was a step-back three-pointer from Epistola that seemed to lift the Gees.

Although the Gee-Gees managed to outscore the Ravens in the third, they couldn’t quite get the gap down to single digits. Going into the final quarter of play, the Ravens led 62-49.

The U of O was unable to keep up the pace and found themselves in a deficit they could not overcome.

“There’s a lot of growing to do.” Robinson said. “You’re going in with that killer mentality, you’re ready to make shots, that’s the key. They made shots we didn’t make because they had that mentality.”

The Ravens came out with an 82-64 win to stay on top of the OUA east and take home their third consecutive Capital Hoops victory.

Even though the Gee-Gees didn’t pull off the upset, the game was still memorable.

“It’s honestly amazing to have the opportunity to do this,” Robinson said. “That’s why you come here. You want to be able to play against the number-one team in the country, you want to play in an environment like this in front of 10,000 people.”

On Feb. 8, the Gee-Gees will be back in action to face off against Queen’s on the road. The next time we’ll see the U of O at home is on Feb. 15 when they take on Laurentian. Grab tickets to that here.

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