Ottawa, On – (BasketballBuzz) – The No. 1 Ottawa Gee-Gees made sure they held-up their end of the bargain by knocking off the No. 4 Victoria Vikes 78-70 in the second national semi-final to advance to their first ever CIS Final 8 Championship game at the Canadian Tire Centre.
The victory sets up a an All-Ottawa Championship final against their crosstown rivals and No. 2 Carleton Ravens on Sunday afternoon.
Eager to make their first appearance in championship game after falling short the previous year in semi-finals the Gee-Gees came out scorching from downtown by nailing 5-out-8 three-pointers and used a 16-0 run to grab 23-11 lead after the first quarter. Ottawa continued to push the rock and got baskets off of transition layups to pushed the lead to 41-29 at half-time.
Ottawa Gee-Gees second-team All-Canadian Johnny Berhanemeskel finished with 25 points, nine rebounds and four assists to lead the Gee-Gees to the title game. Gabriel Gonthier-Dube was efficient down-low with 15 points and six rebounds and Caleb Agada come up with a double-double with 12 points and ten rebounds.
The third quarter saw the Vikes outscore the No. 1 Gee-gees 21-14 as seniors Tyrell Evans and Chris McLaughlin found their rhythm to help Victoria trim the lead to 55-50 as we headed into the fourth quarter.
Marcus Tibbs made things interesting by nailing a three-pointer to open the fourth-quarter and all-of-a sudden the “dream match-up” between Ravens and Gee-Gees once again locked in jeopardy. The Gee-Gees quickly fired back by going on 10-0 run to restore a 63-53 lead to finally calm the nerves of head coach James Derouin who is looking to become the first Gee-Gees coach to win a National championship.
Victoria got a solid performance from McLaughlin who finished with double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds, Terrell Evans also added 19 points and six rebounds and Marcus Tibbs provide an extra spark with 15 points, six rebounds, four assists.
The dream match-up is now set and after falling to live up to expectations last year the No. 1 Ottawa Gee-Gees and No. 2 Carleton Ravens will meet in front of what is expected to be a record crowd.
“We have to look at what we did well last time and focus on that and also got to focus on recovery getting some food, some water and some sleep its a quick turn around and then well just focus on our strengths the things we did well and those three things we ran we got some transpiration against them, we were able to do some things defensively and more importantly we played loose” discussed James Derouin after the game.
Ottawa shot 26-60 from the floor (43%) and only mustered up only 18 three-point attempts ” I can’t remember the last time we took under 20 threes in probably a Carleton game, but that is just a testament that we werent getting many open looks” added Derouin while giving praise the Vikes defence.
Carleton and Ottawa will meet for the fourth time this season with Ravens winning the regular season games but the Gee-Gees managed to upset the Ravens to win the 2014 OUA conference championship whil handing Carleton their first loss of the season and earn the No.1 overall seed at the Final 8.