CIS MEN'S BASKETBALL FINAL 8: Top-seeded Gee-Gees overpower Saskatchewan

CIS MEN'S BASKETBALL FINAL 8: Top-seeded Gee-Gees overpower Saskatchewan
OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees lived up to the hype of being the number one seed defeating the No. 8 University of Saskatchewan Huskies 94-73 in the last quarter-final of the ArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS men’s basketball championship Friday night at the Canadian Tire Centre. 
The OUA champion Gee-Gees’ flashy offence – the top ranked in the country this season - was on full display right at the start of the game with a quick three-pointer from second-year guard Johnny Berhanemeskel followed by an alley-oop by Terry Thomas.
The Huskies responded with back-to-back baskets from beyond the arc from fourth-year forward Dadrian Collins.
The underdog Huskies, who were voted into the Final 8’s wildcard spot, kept pace with the Gee-Gees in a fast-paced, back and forth opening quarter. A late three-pointer from Huskies Andrew Henry saw the crowd favourites lead 26-22 at the break.
The fast action continued into the second stanza, the Gee-Gees were able to establish a 10-point lead capped off by a huge two-handed dunk from Thomas. However, the Huskies could not be counted out and they clawed their way back and only trailed by three heading into the half.
First-team all-Canadian Stephon Lamar, who finished with 15 points and led the Huskies with nine assists, almost tied the game up with a buzzer beater, but the ball rolled around the rim and out sending Ottawa to the dressing room with a 43-40 lead.
The third frame opened in the same fashion, with the Huskies able to tie the game up, and even take a short-lived lead at 51-50. It did not last however as a pair of big three-pointers by Thomas, who had a game-high 24 points, led to an 11-0 Ottawa run.
“Obviously I would’ve liked to pull away earlier in the game, but I didn’t think we were particularly sharp early on,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin.
The Huskies battled back, but the locals took a 67-59 advantage into the final quarter.
In the fourth, the Gee-Gees proved to be too much to handle as they opened the stanza with an 8-0 run and never looked back. They exploded for 27 points in the frame en route to victory.
“From the start our game plan was to push the tempo,” said Thomas, who also led the Gee-Gees with nine rebounds was named his team’s player of the game. “We were just trying to outwork them. In the end, we just buckled down to get the victory.”
It was certainly a battle from downtown as the Gee-Gees knocked down 14 of 33 three-pointers and the Huskies sank 10 of 28 from beyond the arc.
Third-year forward Matt Forbes led the Huskies with 18 points and 10 rebounds en route to being named his team’s MVP.
The Gee-Gees advance to face No. 4 Victoria in what will be a battle of the top defence versus top offence in CIS at 8 p.m. Saturday, live on Sportsnet 360. Third-seeded Alberta faces No. 2 and defending champion Carleton in the 6 p.m. semi, also on SN 360.
“It’s more just a game I’m glad we got over with. We’ll need to be better against Victoria,” Derouin said.
The Huskies play at 2:30 p.m. in a consolation game against the McGill Redmen.


Boxscore: STATS
SSK: 22-18-19-14: 73
OTT: 26-17-24-27: 94
Points: Terry Thomas (24), Johnny Berhanemeskel (20), Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue (11)
Rebounds: Terry Thomas (9), Caleb Agada (8)
Assists: Johnny Berhanemeskel (7), Mike L’Africain (7)
Player of the game: Terry Thomas


Points: Matt Forbes (18), Stephon Lamar (15), Andrew Henry (14)
Rebounds: Matt Forbes (10), Stephon Lamar (7)
Assists: Stephon lamar (9)
Player of the game: Matt Forbes

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

SaturdayMarch 8

12:30 Consolation 1: No. 6 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 7 McMaster ( 
14:30 Consolation 2: No. 5 McGill vs. No. 8 Saskatchewan ( 
18:00 Semifinal 1: No. 3 Alberta vs. No. 2 Carleton (Sportsnet 360 / *) 
20:00 Semifinal 2: No. 4 Victoria vs. No. 1 Ottawa (Sportsnet 360 / *) 

Sunday, March 9

10:30 Bronze ( 
14:00 Final (Sportsnet / *) 
* The webcast of all 3 televised games (semifinals & final) will be on pay-per-view basis.
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