MEN'S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Regular season wraps up in dramatic fashion

MEN'S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Regular season wraps up in dramatic fashion
Friday, February 14

Laurentian 84 @ Ottawa 124

After upsetting the Ryerson Rams last weekend the Laurentian Voyageurs were coming to Ottawa with confidence on Friday night, hoping to accomplish the same thing at Monpetit Hall. The Gee-Gees were quick to dismiss their hopes of an upset however as they took the lead in the first quarter and carried it throughout the game, coasting to a 124-84 victory.

No. 2 ranked uOttawa continued its dominant and undefeated play at home - the team has shot the lights on home court all season long and Friday night was no exception The season high point total lifted the team’s season average to 96 points per game, which will likely stand as the best offensive season in team history. The Gee-Gees’ previous high of 92.7 set in 2002-2003.

Terry Thomas and Mike L’Africain looked like quite a dunk contest duo as they connected on multiple occasions for big dunks which Thomas completed with rattling finishes. Their most distinguished play of the night came in the second quarter when L’Africain lobbed a beautiful alley-oop pass to Thomas for the powerful finish in transition.

L’Africain has shot 19-23 from long range in his last four games and has been one of the most important players on the court for Ottawa. He has done more than just scoring however as he tied his career for assists in a game with 13 which he set last weekend versus York. He had 21 points and 13 assists for a rare double-double on the night.

“After the new year I looked at myself and realized that I have big dreams and to achieve those dreams I need to work as hard I possibly can. Since then I have constantly been in the gym working on my game and I think I am starting to see the results,” said L’Africain. “How I have been playing lately is honestly a credit to my teammates because without them I would not be doing as much as I am now.”
“The way Mike has been playing and running this team really makes my job easy. He is our coach out there and when he performs like he has been lately, it really helps this team win games,” said head coach James Derouin. “I really liked our tempo and the way we handled the ball tonight. The guys seemed very relaxed and just did what they do best. It’s fun to watch.”

Johnny Berhanemeskel led the way on the score sheet for the Gee-Gees netting 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Second-year, Matt Nelson recorded a career high 14 points in only seven minutes of play while shooting 6-7 from the field.

“As a player taking all his shots within a few feet of the basket, it’s important that I go out there and make the most out of my opportunities. Coach really relies on me to do that because those are the little things that may go unnoticed but at the end of the day, it’s important,” said Nelson.

Source: uOttawa Sports Info

Algoma 62 @ Carleton 95

For about ten minutes on Friday night it looked like the Algoma Thunderbirds were going to give the Carleton Ravens all they could handle.

After one quarter, the Thunderbirds led 23-21 over the undefeated and No.1 ranked Ravens. They were doing everything right, draining three pointers, out-rebounding Carleton and playing great defence.

But then reality sunk in for Algoma (5-16) in the second quarter as the Ravens found their game and dominated like no other team in Canada can, outscoring the T-Birds 24-6.

The second half was all Ravens as they struck for 34 points and a 79-44 third quarter lead.

From there, Carleton rolled to a 95-62 victory and their 21st win this season.

“We (Carleton) started the game a bit tentative but regrouped after the first quarter and got our game back together, “said Ravens guard, Gavin Resch, who finished the game with 15 points and 3 rebounds.

Thomas Scrubb (Richmond, B.C.) led all Ravens in scoring with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 9-9 from the free throw line.

Tyson Hinz (Ottawa, ON) chipped in with 14 and 5 boards. The graduating senior had an unblemished free throw percentage, draining all 6 opportunities.

Philip Scrubb (Richmond, B.C.) had 12 points, 4 rebounds and he too was perfect on his 5 free throw attempts.

In total, the Ravens finished 27 of 32 with a free shot at the basket.

Source: Carleton Sports Info

York 73 @ Ryerson 87

TORONTO – A strong first quarter helped propel the Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team to an 87-73 victory over the York Lions on Friday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

Four different Rams finished in double digits in scoring, led by Jahmal Jones(Mississauga, Ont.) with 21 points. Kadeem Green (Markham, Ont.) finished with 19 points while Bjorn Michaelsen (Otterburn Park, Que.) added 12 and Aaron Best (Scarborough, Ont.) netted ten points.

The Rams were quick out of the gates on Friday and used their speed to create turnovers and fast break chances to help open up an 11-0 advantage through four minutes of action. By the end of the quarter the home squad led 19-9.

York chipped into the lead in the second quarter, outscoring the Rams by five to make it a five point game at half with Ryerson leading 38-33.

Ryerson had another quick start coming out of the halftime break and extended their lead to 13 points on a pair of free throws from Aaron Best. Once again York was able to claw back into it and a Ryan Ejim (Brampton, Ont.) three pointer made it a six point game but the Rams led 59-51 after 30 minutes.

Despite a comfortable lead midway through the fourth quarter the Rams didn’t let up and built their biggest lead of the game at 18 points with 1:40 remaining before closing the game out with the 87-73 win.

Jahmal Jones spoke after the game about how the team continues to focus on defence and then playing transition basketball to generate some points, although tonight they relied on their big men for some help.

“In the second half we buckled down and went inside to our bigs and they got some easy buckets,” Jones said.

NBA star Tristan Thompson was on hand to take in Friday’s game and took some time to speak with the media afterwards.

“Coach Rana is a good friend of I came out to support him. I played against Kadeem Green and Jahmal Jones back in my high school days so I wanted to check them out, I heard they were playing well. They have a talented team,” Thompson said.

Ejim and Richard Iheadindu (Brampton, Ont.) each finished with 17 points in the loss for York.

Source: Ryerson Sports Info

Queen’s 77 @ Toronto 75

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues men's basketball team fell 77-75 to the Queen's Gaels on Friday, February 14 at the Athletic Centre Sports Gym.

The Gaels overcame a 10-point deficit late in the game, ending on a 13-1 run to earn the win. With the loss, Toronto falls to 4-17 on the season, while Queen's improves to 10-11 and remain in sixth place.

Fifth-year guard Alex Hill (Toronto) led all players with 35 points, going 13-of-24 from the floor and 6-for-8 from the free throw line. Dylan Churchill added 18 points, including six three's, while Matt savel had 10 points and five assists in the loss.

The Gaels got out to an 11-6 lead early in the first quarter and despite some catch up, Toronto trailed 21-12 after 10 minutes of play.

Hill rallied the Blues with five straight points to start the third quarter and Dylan Churchill nailed two three-pointers to bring the game within five (35-30) at halftime.

Some early work from Matt Savel evened the score at 42-42 midway through the third quarter and Toronto continued to roll from there as Churchill closed out the third with another three to give the Blues a 55-51 lead heading into the final frame.

Nikola Misljencevic led the Gaels with 18 points, while Roshane Roberts, Ryall Stroud and Mackenzie Simpson each had 13 in the win.

Source: Toronto Sports Info

Guelph 76 @ Lakehead 80

The collective heartbeat of Thunderwolf Nation beat a little faster on Valentine's day, thanks to a 80-76 overtime thriller over the Guelph Gryphons on Friday evening. And perhaps, too, from the handy work of Joseph Nitychoruk, better known as Joey Nitro.

The beginning of the game kicked off with a thud for the home side, as the Gryphons led 18-11 after one quarter and 33-24 at the break.

As Lakehead slowly picked up their game, thanks in part to an effective zone defense, they were able to chip away at the lead, putting up 24 3rd quarter points to close the gap to 1, 49-48 after three quarters.

As the 4th quarter wore down both sides, neither team could establish any lead, exchanging baskets and body shots while doing their best to stay afloat.

Dwayne Harvey was on point down the stretch, coming up with big plays when the T-Wolves needed them. He would finish with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

Rookie guard Henry Tan made a huge three-pointer to tie the game at 68 with under a minute left, and finished the game with 8 points and 3 assists.

As overtime took its toll, Alex Robichaud fouled out with under two minutes remaining, which brought Joey Nitro off the bench.

On the following possession the 6'7 forward finished with a post move inside, tying the game. His biggest play came in the final 24 seconds, matched up against veteran guard Zach Angus with the game tied at 76. After working the clock down under 15 seconds, Angus tried to initiate contact and draw a foul, only to have Nitychoruk back up, then force the ball out of Angus' hands, leading to an uncontested layup, and sealing the game.

Nitychoruk finished the game with 10 points, 3 blocks and 3 steals in 14 minutes of play. Fellow forward Igor Lebov earned a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Jamar Coke hit 2 three's for Lakehead and scored 12 points with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.

Michel Clark shot an impressive 7-of-9 from the field (including 5 three's) to finish with 21 points to lead the Gryphons.

Coach Matt Erdman:

"We started off slow and Guelph took full advantage of our complacency. Seeing the way we responded after a bunch of set backs is a step in the right direction. Our guys made some big plays on both ends down the stretch, some more obvious than others but credit to our guys for a character win."

Source: Lakehead Sports Info

Saturday, February 15

Waterloo 68 @ McMaster 90

On a day when they didn't play their best, the McMaster men's basketball team picked up steam in the second half and defeated the Waterloo Warriors 90-68 in the final league game of the OUA West schedule.

Prior to the game, McMaster honoured its only graduating player as fifth-year senior Nathan Pelech was presented with a framed Marauder jersey to recognize his career in Maroon.
game with Waterloo

The Warriors came out like a team with something to prove to the first-place Marauders and behind their outstanding freshman guard Myles Charvis, ended the first quarter with the lead at 27-24. Charvis was on fire early and scored 17 in the opening 10 minutes.

Waterloo continued to play well in the second quarter and was in front 36-32 midway through the period when McMaster seemed to notice they were in a tough game. Sparked by Adam Presutti, the Marauders finished the quarter on an 11-2 run to take a 43-38 lead at the half. Trying to exploit its size advantage, McMaster went inside as much as possible and got production from Nathan McCarthy and Leon Alexander. Charvis cooled off some but still had 21 points in the first half.

Now playing with the lead in the third quarter, McMaster was more aggressive attacking the basket and fouls became an issue for the Warriors. McMaster got the lead as high as 59-47, before ending the quarter with a 10-point advantage at 66-56.

Unable to get the margin under 10 and perhaps suffering some fatigue from playing fewer bodies, Waterloo could not keep McMaster at bay in the final stanza. McCarthy continued to power inside and Presutti continued to hit from outside and on drives to the hoop. McMaster was able to clear the bench and close out the 90-68 win to finish league play with an 18-4 record.

McCarthy was the top Marauder shooter with 23 points and also grabbed nine rebounds to just miss the double-double. Presutti added 18, Alexander 15, and Joe Rocca 10 as the Marauders came up with another balanced effort. Charvis finished with a game-high 28 for the Warriors.

McMaster dominated the battle of the boards 54-24, with Mac's Taylor Black the top rebounder with 12 caroms for the game.

The Marauders will now wait to find out who their opponent will be in the playoffs, but they know they will be in the Burridge Gym for an OUA West semi-final on Saturday, February 22 with a 2 p.m. tip-off.

Source: McMaster Sports Info

Laurier 100 @ Western 78

LONDON, Ont. – Twenty-six points from Will Coulthard and another 23 from Max Allin lead the Laurier Golden Hawks to a 100-78 win over the Western Mustangs men's basketball team on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Hall.

"I think mentally we weren't all there to start the game and Laurier is the type of team that can explode on you offensively," said Mustangs head coach Brad Campbell. "We gave a lot of open shots and made some mistakes defensively and a lot of Laurier's players felt good about themselves on offence."

The Mustangs will now watch the out of town scoreboard as the Mustangs 8-14 record guarantees them either fourth or fifth place in the OUA West. Western's final standing will be determined by the winner of tonight's Lakehead-Guelph matchup, as a win by the Thunderwolves will put them two points ahead of the Mustangs giving them fourth place, while a loss clinches fourth place for Western. Regardless of the outcome of tonight's game the Thunderwolves and Mustangs will face off in an OUA Quarterfinal matchup next Wednesday.

Despite the loss, the Mustangs players put up solid offensive numbers of their own with four players in double digits including Peter Scholtes leading the pack with 21 points,Eric McDonald scoring 15 points, and both Greg Morrow and Rashayne Case adding 14 each.

The Golden Hawks took control of the game early in the first half with a string of baskets that the Mustangs were not able to keep up with going on a 13-3 run just past the midway point of the first quarter to end the opening 10 minutes up 28-13. Despite trading points to open the second frame the Golden Hawks slowly began to pull away, thanks in part their control of their boards as they recorded 10 second chance points in the first half. After 20 minutes the visiting Golden Hawks took a 52-29 lead into halftime.

Western began to pull closer in the third quarter thanks in part to three-point shooting from McDonald and Cameron Morris and containing the Golden Hawks to only two points in the final three minutes to cut the Laurier lead to 69-54 after the third frame. Despite the Mustangs improved play in the third the Golden Hawks put things away in the fourth as Coulthard drained five three pointers in the period, including three in less than 90 seconds, to cement a 100-78 victory.

The Mustangs now turn their attention to the post-season and a first round matchup with the Lakehead Thunderwolves on Wednesday, February 19 with the place and time still to be determined.

Source: Western Sports Info

Windsor 85 @ Brock 72

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - The Brock University men's basketball team (4-18 OUA West, 10-24 overall) ended the 2013-14 season with an 85-72 loss to the No. 5 ranked Windsor Lancers.

Prior to the game, the Badgers honoured their four graduating seniors Tshing Kasamba (St. Catharines, Ont.), C.J. Smith (Scarborough, Ont.), Jay Fast (St. Catharines, Ont.) and Sanele Mlotshwa (Stoney Creek, Ont.).

Midway through the opening quarter, Windsor led 10-6 before going on a 12-2 run to end the quarter leading 22-8 after 10 minutes. The Badgers would play Windsor even in the second quarter trailing 37-23 at the half.

Brock outscored the Lancers 29-28 in the second half, but the early run was enough as Windsor captured second place in the OUA West finishing with a 16-6 record.

Brock had three players in double figures led by freshman standout Dani Elgadi (Waterloo, Ont.) who finished with a game-high 26 points and 12 rebounds. Elgadi finishes his rookie season with 588 points and 366 rebounds in 34 games. His 366 rebounds is the second highest single season rebound total in Brock history. Kasamba registered 22 points and 11 rebounds while Smith also added a double double finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in his final career game.

Windsor was led by Lien Phillip who added 22 points and 11 rebounds for his 16th double-double of the season, tying Kevin Dulude for the most double-doubles in a single season since 2000. Also in double figures were Josh Collins who added 17 points and nine assists, Khalid Abdel-Gabar (13 points, 5 rebounds) and Bradford Parker (10 points, 5 rebounds).

For the game, Windsor shot 38.8% from the field going 31-for-80. They were also 9-for-34 (26.5%) from beyond the arc and 14-for-28 (50.0%) from the charity stripe. Brock closed out the game shooting 36.2% (25-for-69) from the field, 25.0% (6-for-24) from three-point range and 69.6% (16-for-23) from the free throw line.

Source: Brock Sports Info

Laurentian 74 @ Carleton 98

The Carleton Ravens defeated the Laurentian Voyageurs 98-74 at the Ravens’ Nest on Saturday night to complete a perfect 22-0 season and  capture their 14th consecutive OUA regular season title.

It all started back on November 1, 2013 with a 95-74 victory over Windsor and now, three and half months later the No. 1 Ravens have run the table on their regular season.

For those inquiring minds, Carleton has not lost a regular season game since November 9, 2012 when the Windsor Lancers knocked off the Ravens 71-67.

Since then the Ravens have gone 43-0 over the past two seasons, 3-0 in the OUA playoffs and another three game winning streak as they captured the 2013 CIS men’s basketball championship.

Saturday night’s match-up featured a pre-game ceremony with Ravens head coach, Dave Smart acting as the master of ceremonies as he paid tribute to two of his fifth year players, Tyson Hinz (Ottawa, ON), Kevin Churchill (Toronto, ON) and fourth year student, Clinton Springer-Williams (London, ON).

“Kevin is the glue to this team,” said Smart about the Masters in Philosophy student.“He is everything we (coaching staff) strive for in our fifth year players. During his career he shot 60% from the field and 80% from the foul line. He does everything you could ask for in a student athlete.”

As for Hinz, Smart put things in very simple terms.

“Tyson’s play speaks for itself. He has been the CIS Player of the Year, a three time All Canadian and three time national champion. His work ethic is insane. Between his academics, talent and community work it would hard to find anyone that has done more.”

Springer-Williams hasn’t been around Carleton as long as Hinz and Churchill but has been a vital component to the Ravens success ever since transferring to the program from Brock (CIS) and Gannon University (NCAA) at the beginning of the 2012-2013 season.

Smart was the first to echo that sentiment.

“Clinton always did what was asked of him and never questioned the role I had for him. He was a great team player.”

The No. 1 Ravens finish the regular season at the top of the OUA East standings and will host a semi-final game next Saturday, February 22. Game time at the Ravens Nest is 8:00PM

Source: Carleton Sports Info

Algoma 61 @ Ottawa 103

The uOttawa Gee-Gees finished their regular season on a high note on Saturday night as they took a dominant 103-61 victory over Algoma University. The garnet and grey finish the season with 20 wins and only two losses while breaking a number of team records.

The win gives 20 wins on the season which is the new uOttawa record for wins in a season. The previous record was 19 win set by the 2008-2009 Gee-Gees squad. This stat is not the only record broken this season however as they have set highs in multiple categories such as free throw percentage, three-pointers made in a season, highest team scoring average and an individual stat for points in a season set by Johnny Berhanemeskel.

“It feels good. I have good kids and they work really hard so I am happy about this season. It’s a credit to our coaching staff and this team,” said James Derouin. “With that said, our regular season doesn’t mean anything if we don’t get things done next Saturday. We have to retain our focus and prepare for playoffs because that's when the real test begins.”

Terry Thomas was the high scorer in the game tallying 20 points and also provided fans with their dose of dunks in transition. Thomas has had a successful season with the Gee-Gees averaging 22.2 points per game and providing uOttawa with countless highlight real dunks. The third-year will likely be an essential piece if the Gee-Gees are to go deep into the post-season.

“It’s so rare that to see a team that is so close and tightly knit and I think that is part of our success. We have so much chemistry this year and overall it was a great season - there are two parts to a season though and the post-season is the most important one. We will need to be efficient, work hard and play through 40 minutes because that is the key to beating really good teams,” said Terry Thomas.

Despite their seventh place OUA standing, Algoma University put a good fight at certain points in the game and played well defensively against the no.2 uOttawa. 

Johnny Berhanemeskel needed 10 points in this game to become the uOttawa record holder for points scored in a season and he accomplished just that scoring 451 and moving passed Josh Gibson-Bascombe’s 443. “It’s definitely a cool accolade to be a part of because there has been so much work and effort put towards that. I try not to focus on that stuff too much but it’s a great feeling to be recognized for my efforts,” said Berhanemeskel.

Source: uOttawa Sports Info

Queen’s 61 @ Ryerson 71

TORONTO – The Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team closed their regular season schedule with a 71-61 victory over the Queen’s Gaels on Saturday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

Jahmal Jones (Mississauga, Ont.) had a team-high 22 points and eight rebounds while adding five assists to lead the Rams to the victory.

Both teams struggled to find their offensive groove in the first and after ten minutes the Gaels held a slim 13-12 lead.

Ryerson opened the second quarter on a 14-2 run to open up a 28-15 advantage with 4:10 remaining in the frame and extended that lead to 17 to lead 40-23 at the halftime break.

A pair of free throws from Jones with 8:35 left in the third gave the Rams their largest lead of the game at 45-25 but the Gaels turned up their defensive pressure and began to chip away at the deficit.

Roshane Roberts (Vaughan, Ont.) put the Gaels on his back and helped close the gap to single digits with a jumper to make it 53-44 with 1:35 to go in the frame but Ryerson continued to lead 58-46 through three quarters.

Queen’s got to within six points on several occasions in the fourth quarter but they could not complete the comeback as the Rams came away with the 71-61 victory.

Aaron Best (Scarborough, Ont.) also finished in double digits for the Rams with ten points and added eight rebounds.

Roberts finished with a game-high 24 points in the loss for Queen’s while Nikola Misljencevic (Ottawa, Ont.) added 13 points.

Ryerson finishes the regular season with a 16-6 record to finish third in the OUA east standings. The Gaels finish with a record of 10-12 and sit in sixth place.

Queen’s will return to the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Wednesday, February 19 to face the Rams in the OUA quarter-final beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Source: Ryerson Sports Info

York 92 @ Toronto 90

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues men's basketball team fell 92-90 to the York Lions on Saturday, February 15 at the Athletic Centre Sports Gym.

The Blues close out their 2013-14 campaign with a 4-18 record in eighth place in the OUA East division.

Down by two, fourth-year guard Matt Savel evened the score at 90-90 with a layup with just four seconds remaining in the game. The Lions called a time out to bring the ball to half court and Matthew Ziobrowski proved to be the game's hero with a lap up of his own to give the Lions the victory.

Fifth-year guard Alex Hill (Toronto) notched a team-high 26 points in the loss. Hill ends his career as U of T's all-time point leader with 1,619 points in 86 regular season games as a Varsity Blue.

Fellow veteran Dylan Churchill recorded 23 points, including six three-pointers, while Matt Savel had 15 and Laszlo Schuetz added 12 on the night. Adam Plummer rounded out the game with a team-high 11 boards in the loss.

Ryan Ejim led the Lions with a game-high 27 points and 13 rebounds, while Richard Iheadindu had 16 points and Nick Tufegdzich had 14 points and 12 boards in the win.

The Varsity Blues honoured graduating players Laszlo Schuetz, Dylan Churchill, Matt Savel, Adam Plummer, Dakota Laurin and Alex Hill in a special pre-game ceremony.

Source: Toronto Sports Info

Guelph 56 @ Lakehead 70

The men's basketball team pulled out a 70-56 win over the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday evening, launching them into 4th place in the OUA West and thus securing home court for the 1st round of the playoffs.

Such a notion seemed inconceivable to many following a shaky month of January for the men's squad.

The first half of Saturday's matchup was slow to say the least, with Guelph clinging to a 24-21 lead at halftime.

Lakehead would finally get the lead out in the 3rd, scoring 24 points and finding different ways to score.
One Thunderwolf who did so in a big way was Alex Robichaud, who scored a career-high 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting, much to the delight of the Thunderdome faithful.

Dwayne Harvey put together another complete game, scoring 15 points with 8 assists and 5 rebounds.

5th year senior forward Justin Bell (Mississauga, Ont.) was honored pre-game with a plaque as part of senior's night presentations.

For Guelph, Michel Clark scored 12 points with 5 rebounds.

Coach Matt Erdman:

"Our offense left us early but our defense was what kept us in the game. It took us some time to figure it out on offense but credit to our guys for making a conscious effort to execute."

Lakehead will next face the Western Mustangs on Wednesday evening at 7pm in the Thunderdome in the 1st round of the playoffs.

Source: Lakehead Sports Info
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