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RECAP - Gee-Gees NCAA series opens with Cincinnati tilt

Brandon Robinson holding ball at the free-throw line

The 2018-19 Gee-Gees roster got its first taste of game action on Sunday afternoon with a deep, but still meshing lineup taking on the Cincinnati Bearcats at College Jean de Brébeuf in Montreal. uOttawa hung with the Bearcats through three quarters, before a fourth quarter push which saw Cincinnati secure a 85-57 victory in exhibition play.

Fifth-year guard Brandon Robinson, playing in his hometown, helped the Gee-Gees to a strong start offensively as the teams were knotted at 18-18 following the first quarter. Coming out of halftime trailing 39-30, third-year Gage Sabean's three treys in the third quarter brought the score within six midway through the frame. Both Gee-Gees finished the game with 11 points, and Robinson also led Ottawa with six rebounds.

Cincinnati's identity as an athletic, defensive team with size was on display throughout the contest and particularly in a dominant fourth quarter. Cincinnati turned multiple stops into an offensive burst which resulted in a 31-13 spread in the fourth quarter.

Kevin Civil (5 pts, 6 pts), Guillaume Pépin (4 pts), Quinton Hamilton (4 pts, 4 reb, 2 ast), and Olivier Cadieux (3 pts), made their Gee-Gees debuts and showed their upside going forward as a group in the Gee-Gees system.

Robinson and Calvin Epistola, as expected, were the go-to options for Coach Derouin while the rest of the team shook off off-season rust. Andrew DeGroot returned to game action for the first time since the 2016-17 season and also made his first start at centre for the Garnet and Grey.

Overall the team is still working on establishing their high-octane scoring identity. Many of the team's opportunities were stifled by Cincinnati's ability to adapt on defence. The Gee-Gees did show strong depth and an ability to field a combination of effective lineups that will only develop further as the season goes on.

BOXSCORE

NEXT UP:

The Gee-Gees host Ole Miss on Thursday night at Montpetit Hall. The Rebels also began their 2018-19 exhibition season on Sunday in Montreal, defeating the McGill Redmen handily 102-61.

Thursday, August 9th — Mississippi @ Montpetit Hall (7 p.m.)

Friday, August 10th — Vermont @ Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf (7:30 p.m.)

Saturday, August 11th — South Dakota State @ Montpetit Hall (7 p.m.)