MONTREAL — Dele Ogundokun, a sophomore from Hamilton, Ont., scored a game-high 21 points as visiting McGill erased an early five-point deficit and coasted to a 73-61 conquest over the Université du Québec à Montréal in men’s university basketball at the Centre Sportif de l’UQAM, Thursday.
It was McGill’s sixth straight victory over the Citadins since a 59-44 loss at UQAM on Feb. 23, 2013. The Redmen bounced back from a 19-14 deficit after the opening quarter to lead 36-34 at the half and 54-47 after three quarters.
“It was a good bounce-back win for us in a pretty (hostile) enviroment,” said McGill head coach David DeAveiro, referring to his troops rebounding from a last minute, 60-59 home-court collapse against Bishop’s last week. “It was UQAM’s home-opener and they had a lot of things going on in a place that was lively and full of atmosphere, It was a good test for our young group, especially on the road.”
Ogundokun, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound shooting guard, shot 9-for-14 from the floor, and went 2-for-3 from the free-throw line. He added four rebounds, a pair of assists and two steals during a team-high 36 minutes of court-time.
“Dele’s one of our top players and there’s a lot of pressure on him to play well for us,” said DeAveiro. “When he performs well like that, we have a chance to be successful. It was also important for him to bounce back after a tough first game and do some of the things that he wasn’t able to do against Bishop’s.”
McGill had three players reach double digits, including 11 apiece from sophomore starter Francois Bourque and Thomas Lacy, a junior three-point specialist who contributed three treys off the bench. Team captain Vincent Dufort was double-teamed and held to just two points on a disappointing 1-for-11 shooting performance but made up for that with a game-high nine rebounds, to to along with three steals and as many assists.
Four Citadins reaching double digits in a losing cause, including Greishe Clerjuste (16), Alexandre Bernard (15), Davidson Joseph (11) and Nicolas Audet (10).
McGill shot 48.3 per cent from the field (29/60) and 46.7 from three-point range (7/16) but had another woeful from the free-throw line where they sank just eight of 16.
“That’s one of the things we pointed out to the team that we definitely need to improve on,” admitted DeAveiro, whose team shot a similar 9-for-19 effort in the aforementioned loss to Bishop’s. “To me that’s more mental than physical so it’s something that we’re going to address more in practice.”
UQAM shot 41.9 from the field (26/62), dropped four of 16 from the arc and made just five of nine attempts from the line.
The Redmen held a 37-36 margin in rebounds and a slight advantage in turnovers (17-16) to outscore the Citadins 21-14 in points off miscues.
“Both of our point-guards — Ave Bross and Jenning Leung — looked better tonight (than they did in last week’s opener),” noted DeAveiro. “It was a big part of our success as we didn’t turnover the ball and they both handled the ball fairly well and we were able to run our offence (as planned).”
McGill (1-1) returns to action on Nov. 22 when they host archrival Concordia (1-1), which earlier this week made the surprising announcement that head coach John Dore would be retiring at season’s end after 26 years at the helm.
UQAM (0-2) has a bye next week and will play at Concordia on Nov. 27.