CIS MEN'S BASKETBALL FINAL 8: Gee-Gees force an all-OUA title game by downing UVic

CIS MEN'S BASKETBALL FINAL 8: Gee-Gees force an all-OUA title game by downing UVic
OTTAWA (CIS) – It will be an all Ottawa final at the ArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS men’s basketball championship as the 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, the reigning three-time national champion.
In a battle between the top offence versus the top defence in CIS, offence prevailed as the top-ranked Gee-Gees defeated the No.4 Victoria Vikes 78-70 in semifinal action Saturday night at the Canadian Tire Centre.
The result sets up a rematch of last weekend’s OUA Wilson Cup final when the Gee-Gees upset the Ravens 78-77, handing their cross-town rivals their only loss of the season.
The Ravens held the top seed in the country with the Gee-Gees in second through the entire regular season, but last week’s victory flipped those seedings and Ottawa earned No. 1 status heading into the Final 8 the first time in the program’s history.
The Gee-Gees and Ravens will tip off Sunday at 2 p.m., live on Sportsnet
The Vikes will play the University of Alberta Golden Bears in the bronze medal game at 10:30 a.m. Alberta beat Victoria 82-77 last Saturday in the Canada West final.
The Gee-Gee’s offence exploded in the first quarter with Terry 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 the break.
The Vikes offence heated up in the second quarter led by their player of the game Chris McLaughlin, who led the game with 11 points at halftime and finished with a team high 19 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double.
“I thought as the game went and Chris got his feet under him, he got better,” said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp.
Both teams scored 18 points in the second stanza to go to halftime with Ottawa leading 41-29.
The Vikes climbed their way back to bring the game within reach in the third quarter. Third year point guard Marcus Tibbs sank a big three pointer to bring Victoria within three points part way through the quarter.
Vikas Gill had his buzzer beater attempt blocked and Ottawa led 55-50 going into the final frame.
Tibbs opened the fourth quarter with a huge three pointer to cut Ottawa’s lead to just two. That was as close as the Vikes were able to get as the Gee-Gees offence answered by taking a ten-point lead.
“They’re fantastic defensively,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin, whose troops suffered a heartbreaking loss to Lakehead in last year’s CIS semifinals but went on to capture a program-best bronze medal. “We weren’t getting any open looks. They lulled us to sleep with their defence and it worked great, we fell for it.”
Gee-Gees fourth year guard Johnny Berhanemeskel was named his team’s player of the game with a game-high 24 points. Caleb Agada had a double-double with 10 rebounds and 12 points for Ottawa.
“Everyone sacrificed so much for this season and we want to make it count and we eventually made it happen in the fourth,” said Berhanemeskel, who picked up a technical foul in the third quarter. “We wish it could’ve happened sooner (in the game), but that’s national basketball for you.”
Terrell Evans also picked up 19 points for the Vikes in the losing cause and Marcus Tibbs led the team with five assists.
“(Ottawa has) a lot of different weapons,” Beaucamp said. “The biggest thing is they shoot the ball so well, so you’re spread out all over the floor.”


Boxscore: STATS
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), Marcus Tibbs (15)
Rebounds: Chris McLaughlin (10), Terrell Evans (7)
Assists: Marcus Tibbs (5)
Player of the game: Chris McLaughlin

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

Sunday, March 9

10:30 Bronze: No. 3 Alberta vs. No. 4 Victoria ( 
14:00 Final: No. 2 Carleton vs. No. 1 Ottawa (Sportsnet / *) 
* The webcast of all 3 televised games (semifinals & final) will be on pay-per-view basis.
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