|CANADIAN TIRE CENTER|
|Pts: 2 Players (#12, #08 – 19)||Pts: Johnny Berhanemeskel – 24|
|Reb: Chris McLaughlin – 10||Reb: Caleb Agada – 10|
|Ast: Marcus Tibbs – 5||Ast: Mike L’Africain – 6|
|Field Goal %||40.8% (29-71)||43.3% (26-60)|
|Pts off Turnovers||23||19|
|2nd Chance Pts||10||9|
|Pts in the Paint||34||28|
Courtesy of host organizing committee / Photo creditValerie Wutti
OTTAWA (CIS) – It will be an all Ottawa final at theArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS men’s basketball championship asthe University of Ottawa Gee-Gees advanced to compete for the W.P.McGee Trophy for the first time in the program’s existence,setting up a dream match-up against archrival Carleton, thereigning three-time national champion.
In a battle between the top offence versus the top defence inCIS, offence prevailed as the top-ranked Gee-Gees defeated the No.4Victoria Vikes 78-70 in semifinal action Saturday night at theCanadian Tire Centre.
The result sets up a rematch of last weekend’s OUA WilsonCup final when the Gee-Gees upset the Ravens 78-77, handing theircross-town rivals their only loss of the season.
The Ravens held the top seed in the country with the Gee-Gees insecond through the entire regular season, but last week’svictory flipped those seedings and Ottawa earned No. 1 statusheading into the Final 8 the first time in the program’shistory.
The Gee-Gees and Ravens will tip off Sunday at 2 p.m., live onSportsnet
The Vikes will play the University of Alberta Golden Bears inthe bronze medal game at 10:30 a.m. Alberta beat Victoria 82-77last Saturday in the Canada West final.
The Gee-Gee’s offence exploded in the first quarter withTerry Thomas opening and finishing the quarter with three pointers.The Gee-Gees shot an impressive five three pointers in the frame,shooting 55.6 per cent from beyond the arc.
Ottawa led by as much as 16 points and had a 23-11 lead at thebreak.
The Vikes offence heated up in the second quarter led by theirplayer of the game Chris McLaughlin, who led the game with 11points at halftime and finished with a team high 19 points and 10rebounds for a double-double.
“I thought as the game went and Chris got his feet underhim, he got better,” said Vikes head coach CraigBeaucamp.
Both teams scored 18 points in the second stanza to go tohalftime with Ottawa leading 41-29.
The Vikes climbed their way back to bring the game within reachin the third quarter. Third year point guard Marcus Tibbs sank abig three pointer to bring Victoria within three points part waythrough the quarter.
Vikas Gill had his buzzer beater attempt blocked and Ottawa led55-50 going into the final frame.
Tibbs opened the fourth quarter with a huge three pointer to cutOttawa’s lead to just two. That was as close as the Vikeswere able to get as the Gee-Gees offence answered by taking aten-point lead.
“They’re fantastic defensively,” said Gee-Geeshead coach James Derouin, whose troops suffered a heartbreakingloss to Lakehead in last year’s CIS semifinals but went on tocapture a program-best bronze medal. “We weren’tgetting any open looks. They lulled us to sleep with their defenceand it worked great, we fell for it.”
Gee-Gees fourth year guard Johnny Berhanemeskel paced thewinners with a game-high 24 points. Caleb Agada had a double-doublewith 10 rebounds and 12 points for Ottawa, while GabrielGonthier-Dubue was named player of the game for Ottawa thanks tohis 15 points and physical presence inside.
“Everyone sacrificed so much for this season and we wantto make it count and we eventually made it happen in thefourth,” said Berhanemeskel, who picked up a technical foulin the third quarter. “We wish it could’ve happenedsooner (in the game), but that’s national basketball foryou.”
Terrell Evans also picked up 19 points for the Vikes in thelosing cause and Marcus Tibbs led the team with five assists.
“(Ottawa has) a lot of different weapons,” Beaucampsaid. “The biggest thing is they shoot the ball so well, soyou’re spread out all over the floor.”
VIC 11-18-21-20: 70
OTT 23-18-14-23: 78
Points: Johnny Berhanemeskel (24), Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue (15),Caleb Agada (12)
Rebounds: Caleb Agada (10), Johnny Berhanemeskel (8)
Assists: Mike L’Africain (6), Johnny Berhanemeskel (4)
Player of the game: Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue
Points: Chris McLaughlin (19), Terrell Evans (19), MarcusTibbs (15)
Rebounds: Chris McLaughlin (10), Terrell Evans (7)
Assists: Marcus Tibbs (5)
Player of the game: Chris McLaughlin
CHAMPIONSHIPSCHEDULE (all times EASTERN TIME)
Friday, March 7
12:30 Quarter-final 1: Alberta 72, Saint Mary’s 62
14:30 Quarter-final 2: Carleton 82, McMaster 64
17:30 Quarter-final 3: Victoria 63, McGill 54
20:00 Quarter-final 4: Ottawa 94, Saskatchewan 73
Saturday, March 8
12:30 Consolation 1: McMaster 98, Saint Mary’s 71
14:30 Consolation 2: Saskatchewan 75, McGill 59
18:00 Semifinal 1: Carleton 79, Alberta 55
20:00 Semifinal 2: Ottawa 78, Victoria 70
* The webcast of all 3 televised games (semifinals & final)will be on pay-per-view basis.
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body ofuniversity sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and700 coaches from 55 universities and four regional associations viefor 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS alsoprovides high performance international opportunities for Canadianstudent-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well asnumerous world university championships. For further information,visit www.cis-sic.ca or followus on: