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Johnny Bernasmeskel jumper with .7 seconds lifts Ottawa Gee-Gees over Carleton Ravens to win 2014 OUA Championship

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Johnny Berhanemeskel Celebrates after game winner

Toronto, Ont. – (BasketballBuzz) – Junior guard Johnny Bernasmeskel drilled a mid-range jumper with .7 seconds left on the clock to give the No. 2 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees an improbable 78-77 victory over No. 1 ranked Carleton Ravens to win the 2014 OUA Championship and help snap a 20-game losing streak that dates back to Feb 17, 2007 against their cross town rivals.

With the Ravens leading 77-76 after a crucial made basket by Tyson Hinz with 6.7 seconds remaining, Ottawa Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin called a timeout to calm his troops and draw-up a play, his last words before his team left the huddle, – “Johnny, I wanted you to dribble here with your left and find the pull-up to win the game.” calmly, but sternly reenforcing confidence into his team who so often have come up short against Carleton.

Not only did he his team execute the play to perfection, his star player delivered, doing exactly what his head coached had asked of him.

Bernasmeskel finished with a game-high 30 points and added four rebounds and four assists to give the Gee-Gees their first OUA Championship since 1993-1994 and his first ever career win against the Carleton Ravens. Terry Thomas opened-up the game with a three-pointer and finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds while Gabriel Dube-Gonther also reached double-figures with 12 points and five rebounds.

The Gee-Gees started off strong and controlled the opening quarter grabbing their largest lead (7) of the game at 24-17 before Carleton closed out the quarter with a three-point basket by Victor Raso to trim the lead to 24-22 after the opening ten minutes. The two familiar foes traded baskets in the second quarter with but was the Ravens who took a slim 40-35 lead into the locker room thanks to a Clinton Springer-Williams bucket as the horn sounded.

Carleton behind senior forward Tyson Hinz opened up the third quarter on 5-0 and to extend the Ravens lead to a game-high 10 points as the Gee-Gees trailed 45-35. Ottawa responded with their own 11-1 run to tie the game 46-46 with 5:42 left in the period as Bernasmeskel and Terry Thomas found their stroke but Carleton found a way to go into the fourth-quarter leading 62-56.

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Three-time OUA player-of-the-year Philip Scrubb struggled for most of the night but nailed a deep three-pointer with 3:39 to put Carleton ahead by double-digits at 75-65 left in the game and it seem like that Gee-Gees were head to their 21 straight loss at the hands of the Dave Smart and Ravens.

Instead of hanging their heads the Gee-Gees responded with their own 11-1 run ( seven by Bernasmeskel) to take a 76-75 lead with just 22 seconds left on the clock.

Carleton Ravens’ Tyson Hinz powered the Ravens all-night and finished with a 25-point, 10-rebound double in his last Wilson Cup, Thomas Scrubb added 21 points and four rebounds and his brother Phillip Scrubb managed 13 points despite only shooting 3-of-12 for the game. Lost ends Carleton’s 55-game winning streak against Canadian teams, their previous loss to CIS teams came against the Windsor Lancers on November 9th 2012.

Ottawa shoot 44% (31-70) while Carleton knocked down 42% (25-59) of their shots. The Ravens owned the glass with 36-25 advantage but committed uncharacteristic 14 turnovers compared to the Gee-Gees 9.

Both teams will advance to the 2014 CIS Final 8 National championship in Ottawa, where the Gee-Gees are guaranteed one of the two top seeds after becoming the only Canadian team to knock off the defending champions so far this season. The Gee-Gees improve their overall record to 36-4 with their only losses coming at the hands of Syracuse, Wisconsin and the Carleton (2x). The Ravens record drops to 34-3 with losses coming to Syracuse, Cincinnati and now the their rivals Ottawa.

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Highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide Return To Canada

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Alabama Crimson Tide Avery Johnson Return To Canada

The Alabama Crimson Tide led by former NBA Head Coach Avery Johnson, a 16-year veteran and NBA champion point-guard during his playing days will bring his highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide to Canada for series of games against Canada’s top university basketball programs.

The Crimson Tide will visit both Montreal and Ottawa for a three-game exhibition schedule against McGill Redmen (Mon Aug 7), Carleton Ravens (Wed Aug 9) and the Ottawa Gee-Gees (Thu Aug 10).

The Tide competed hard last year and took a step in the right direction with a 19-15 record, 10-8 SEC record and have NCAA March Madness tournament aspirations thanks to solid recruiting class which ranks amongst the nations best.

Led by a talented crop of returning guards, Dazon Ingram (10.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG), Riley Norris (9 PPG, 3 RPG), the coaches son Avery Johnson Jr. and forwards Braxton Key the Tide will be a handful for the it’s Canadian opposition.

Key a 6’8″, 220 lbs flirted with the  2017 NBA draft after a stellar freshman season, the Charlotte, NC native led ‘Bama in scoring with 12 point per game and was second in rebounding at 5.7 per game. The Tide will also welcome incoming red-shirt sophomore 6’10”, 240lbs Daniel Giddens to a line-up that returns four starters.

Alabama anchored by current NBA player Alonzo Gee (Denver Nuggets) last visited Canada back in 2007 and finished with a record of 4-1 against the same exact teams, dropping a tight 83-72 decision against the Carleton Ravens who have won seven straight Canadian titles including 13-of the-last-15 championships.

Carleton’s signature win over Alabama was only their second ever against a NCAA division one team after 16-game losing streak from 1999 to 2006. The Ravens current record against NCAA teams in Canada stands at an impressive 26-23 (.531%) record.

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Calgary Dinos Thomas Cooper Senior Highlights

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Calgary Dinos Thomas Cooper Senior Highlights

Calgary Dinos senior guard Thomas Cooper had himself and impressive CIS/Usports career to say the least. The Chattanooga, Tenn. native, a 6-5, 200 lbs guard earned himself two first team All-Canadian awards while leading Dinos back to the championship game for the first time since 1966.

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No. 1 Carleton Ravens 81-40 lock-up rivals No. 2 Ottawa Gee-Gees

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Eddie Ekiyor Carleton Ravens Vs.Ottawa Gee Gees USports Basketball
Photo - Valerie Wutti

Ottawa, ON – The twelve-time defending CIS/USports National Basketball Champions and No.1 Carleton Ravens went into Monpetit Hall and completely dominated the No. 2 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees, locking up their Bytown rivals with a blistering 81-40 win.

The Ravens, the top defensive unit in the country, allowing an incredible low of only 60 points to opponents, dominated every aspect of the much anticipated game holding Ottawa to four points in the first-quarter and thirteen in the second for a grand total of seventeen first-half points and 35-17 half-time lead.

The first-quarter ended with Ravens leading 11-4 as both teams slugged it out in front of a jam packed standing room only Monpetit Hall which hasn’t seen the Gee-Gees get dismantled like this on their home floor in 32-game OUA conference games – snapping home winning streak which dated back to 2012.

Fifth-year senior Guard Connor Wood caught fire in the second-quarter after a cold start scoring all but 14 of the teams 24 points in the quarter and finished with 16 in the half and game-high 19 points. Starting point guard Kaza Kajami-Keane added 10 points, six rebounds in just 19 minutes.

The Gee-Gees were limited to 6-of-32 (18.8%) shooting, 3-of-17 from the outside in the opening 20 minutes and managed to only connect on 12-56 (21.4%) of their field goal attempts for the entire game and only 6-of-26 from the outside.

Carleton shot 50% in the second-half and finished 31-68 from the floor and 13-of-28 from downtown while turning the ball over 9 times compared to the Gee-Gees 18.

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The 40 points allowed by the Ravens is their lowest against the Gee-Gees since a 74-34 smack-down in January 18th, 2012 at the Sixth Annual Capital Hoops Classic.

Carleton Ravens 6’10” freshman Eddie Ekiyor (Ottawa, ON) and senior forward Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON) finished one point shy of double-doubles with 9 points and 8 rebounds respectively, and shutdown the Gee-Gees dynamic duo of Caleb Agada (12 points, 4 rebounds) and former Ravens Jean Emmanuel Pierre (7 points, 6 rebounds). Gee-Gees Guard Brandon Robinson had a team-high 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting, 3-of-4 triples.

Carleton’s record  stays unblemished at a perfect 10-0, 16-0 against Canadian competition and 22-2 overall with the only losses coming from two NCAA opponents on the road in Rhode Island – Providence Friars 87-69 and in Philadelphia against LaSalle Explorers 79-73.

Both teams will meet again in just over two weeks (Feb 3rd) at the 2017 Capital Hoops Classic at the ScotiaBank Centre.

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