Men’s basketball team defeats York Lions in OUA playoffs
THE TENSION WAS running high in Montpetit Hall Wednesday night as the Gee-Gees squared up against the York University Lions (5-17 regular season, 0-1 playoffs) in the first round of the playoffs. Although the U of O men’s basketball team (13-9 regular season, 1-0 playoffs) lost their two previous match-ups against Toronto and Ryerson, the team came back and eliminated the Lions from the running 79-63.
The lead consistently flipped between the two teams, with the Lions securing a five-point lead early in the first quarter. The Gees bounced back and ended the half 12-points in front.
Back-to-back treys by first-year forward Vikas Gill in the second quarter, impressive defensive and offensive work by second-year forward Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue, and solid scoring by second-year guard Johnny Berhanemeskel allowed for the Gees to comfortably advance to the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East quarter-finals.
Gonthier-Dubue led the team with 20 points and 14 rebounds, playing a high intensity game that allowed for many crowd-pleasing slam dunks. Berhanemeskel continues to be a threat with his strong shooting—going four for six with a three-point run in the third—raking in 14 points during that quarter alone.
Ottawa head coach James Derouin hopes the team’s defence will continue to be impenetrable during their next playoff game against Ryerson.
“The big thing is our defensive intensity. You could see us tonight and our energy was there defensively. If you were here on Friday night, [you’d know] we were just flat and I don’t know why that was—but it happens sometimes,” said Derouin. “If we’re able to bring that intensity and heart on Saturday night, at the start of the game, then you know we’ll be in a lot better shape.”
The OUA East quarterfinals match-up will see the Gee-Gees travelling to Toronto to square off against the Ryerson Rams on Feb. 25.