Epistola drops 52 points in a dominant weekend for the Gees
The University of Ottawa men’s basketball team travelled down Highway 401 to Guelph on Friday to take on the University of Guelph Gryphons.
Ottawa entered play on Friday with a perfect 4-0 record after beating Waterloo, Laurier, Queen’s and Ontario Tech in their first four games. Sitting at the bottom of the standings before the game, Guelph had a 1-3 record before the game. They beat York but lost to Queen’s, Brock, and McMaster to open the season.
In spite of being the better team in the standings, the Gees struggled in the first quarter, playing down to their opponent’s level. Ottawa lost the first quarter 21-20 to Guelph, but rookie forward Charles-Antoine Gaba had the best quarter of his short career as a Gee-Gee, battling in the paint and collecting six points thanks to three jump shots in the opening salvo.
For the Gryphons, Rasheed Weeks had five points while Keenan Dowell banked in two-three point shots for six points in the first quarter.
The Gee-Gees opened up the second quarter with an eight-point drive before Weeks managed to put the Gryphons on the board. Ottawa was dominant, winning the second quarter 24-12. The Gee-Gees headed back to their locker room with a 44-33 lead at the half.
Calvin Epistola, Borys Minger, and Gaba all had eight points at the half. For Guelph, Weeks led all Gryphons with 10 points in the first half while Dowell was second on the team with six points.
Minger opened up the third quarter with a nice three-pointer to extend the Gee-Gees lead. Thomas Chilton and Sean Stoqua also had a three-pointer in the quarter. Guelph played a better third than the second quarter but still struggled against Ottawa a strong defence.
Dowell and Weeks were still threats for the Gees but on their own could not match Ottawa’s strong offensive output. The Gees won the quarter 22-16 and had a comfy 66-49 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, the Gee-Gees kept their foot on the gas, scoring 22 points in the final 10 minutes of play. Epistola had seven points while a committee of players scored the rest of the points. For Guelph, Malcolm Glanville and Trevor Hutton both had strong quarters but were unable to mount any sort of a comeback as the Gee-Gees took this one 88-67.
The Gee-Gees had Saturday off as they travelled all the way from Guelph to Sault St. Marie, an over seven-and-a-half hour treck.
The Gee-Gees faced the Algoma Thunderbirds on Sunday afternoon. Following the women’s team’s 66-65 loss to Algoma, the Gees looked to avenge their female counterparts in the back end of the doubleheader.
Hostilities didn’t start the way Ottawa had wished as the Thunderbirds jumped out to an early 8-0 lead. Minger then got the Gee-Gees on the board with a jump shot and the men in Grey and Garnet started clawing their way back into the game, although not enough to win the first quarter.
Algoma won the first quarter 19-16 on the back of Brendan Dwyer and Vincent Falardeau, who both tallied up five points.
But just like against Guelph, the Gees bounced back in the second quarter and took Algoma to town. Epistola had 10 points while the Gees went on an early 10-point drive in the quarter, helped by two three-point baskets: one from Camille Musuakala and Minger. The Gees took the second quarter 26-16 and had a 42-35 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Gee-Gees accentuated their dominance over the Thunderbirds, outscoring Algoma 23-13. Truth be told, Epistola could have won the quarter by himself for Ottawa as he sank 15 points in the third quarter alone. For Algoma, Maxime Boullony had seven points in the quarter.
The fourth quarter was more of the same for Ottawa who kept imposing their will on Algoma. The Gee-Gees outscored the Thunderbirds 23-19 on their way to an easy 88-67 victory.
Epistola had 32 points on the afternoon, teammates Musuakala and Marlon Kordrostami had 15 and 13 points respectively. Minger led the team in rebounds with 10 including 9 in the Gees’ own key.
The Gee-Gees will be back in Ottawa next weekend as they take on York and Lakehead. The Gees will face York on Friday at 8 p.m. while they’ll take on Lakehead on Saturday at 8 p.m. Both games will take place at the Montpetit Hall gym.
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