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RECAP: Gee-Gees show fight in Bytown Battle against Carleton

RECAP: Gee-Gees show fight in Bytown Battle against Carleton

The Gee-Gees were underdogs coming into their regular season opening matchup against Carleton on Friday night, they and everyone knew. This season, there will be no team in Canada that is not an underdog when they share the floor with the level of talent the Ravens boast.

Coming into Friday night's game, the Gee-Gees knew that with a solid performance, they could see some clear benefits regardless of the outcome. A complete effort would give the team a base to build on, expel some jitters, and would give the players a frame of reference for what the team to beat looks like.

Despite an 87-69 final score in favour of the Ravens, the Gee-Gees proved that they can still hang with their rivals. At this point in the season, they may not have been able to pull off the upset, but they proved contending with the team is very possible.

In the second half, the Gee-Gees were able to build the most momentum by hitting their shots, finding a way to the basket, and clamping down on defence. Overall, the Ravens only outscored the Gee-Gees by a single point in the final two quarters. In the fourth, the Gee-Gees outscored the Ravens 24-22.

"We had a lot of new faces playing a lot minutes," said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. "There was some good things there, obviously we never want to lose, but I thought we competed and got some of those first-time Carleton jitters out of the way. Hopefully this sets us up well for Capital Hoops in February."

A difference-maker for the Gee-Gees was in the turnover margin, 16 turnovers resulted in 15 points for the Ravens. On the whole, the Gee-Gees shot better from beyond the arc, and were able to battle with the Ravens on the boards, ultimately being out-rebounded by four on the night.

Senior guards Brandon Robinson and Calvin Epistola led the way for the Gee-Gees. Robinson scored 19 points and racked up five assists, while Epsitola stuffed the stat-sheet with 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals.

In their first taste of playing Carleton, freshmen Guillaume Pépin and Kevin Civil also impressed. Pépin finished with 11 points and seven rebounds on the night, while Civil had a solid eight points, five rebounds, two assists, and a steal.

"Against Carleton, a lot of teams lose the game before it even starts," said Robinson. "We came out and it took a little bit to get our bearings, but in the second half we showed some of what we can do. There's a few things we still have to tighten up in our transition defence and rebounding. Once we get some key guys back from injury, we'll be ready for next time."

Up next, the Gee-Gees will take on Waterloo and Laurier at Montpetit Hall next weekend. Both teams sport rosters full of young talent and will be good matchups with the Gee-Gees at this point in the season. The games will tip-off at 8 p.m. and will streamed live on OUA.tv.